By Steve Schuster
Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidate Dan Kelly told former Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. Tuesday that he would support conservative views when it comes to workers’ rights, gerrymandering, gun safety laws.
“I don’t think you have to worry about that with me,” when asked if conservative listeners could trust that he would rule in favor of their positions on issues including gun safety laws, workers’ rights, and gerrymandering. Kelly assured the audience that he would not be a swing vote on the court like Justice Brian Hagedorn.
Clarke said, “Here’s what’s important to conservatives … Act 10, gun rights, including carry conceal licenses and constitutional carry which we don’t have yet, educational freedom through school choice, voter ID, and redistricting.”
Clarke also has been clear with his views supporting the January 6 insurrection.
As previously reported by the Wisconsin Law Journal, last week Kelly posted a video on Twitter of himself standing side-by-side with conservative activist Scott Presler and thanking him for his work. Presler, a Virginia native, planned several “stop the steal” rallies in addition to being on the Capitol grounds the day of the insurrection. Presler also described the siege on the Capitol as “the largest civil rights protest in American history.”
In response to Kelly’s interview with Clarke, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Janet Protasiewicz’s campaign issued a statement.
“This is an act of pure desperation by Dan Kelly to reassure voters that he is just as extreme and corrupt as the last time he was on the court,” said Janet for Justice Spokesperson Sam Roecker.
“When Dan Kelly tells a right-wing radio host not to worry about him, he’s making it clear to voters that he’ll uphold an extreme political agenda on the court, not follow the law and our Constitution. Dan Kelly is a partisan extremist who will uphold Wisconsin’s criminal abortion ban, threaten our democracy, and always uphold a right-wing agenda on the court,” Roecker added.
Previously Kelly deferred questions about Act 10 and abortion to the legislature. This week’s comments are a strong departure from Kelly’s previous statements that what sets him apart from his opponent is that he wouldn’t let his personal views influence his court decisions.
The Wisconsin law Journal reached out to Kelly’s campaign, but they did not respond prior to publication.