Underly narrowly led Kerr 27-26 in a five-way main in February marked by sharp variations within the two candidates’ help bases. Underly is backed by Wisconsin’s complete Democratic congressional delegation, together with Sen. Tammy Baldwin, and a slew of Democrats within the state legislature. She additionally has the help of a number of instructor’s unions within the state. (Evers, nonetheless, has stayed out of the race.) Kerr, in the meantime, identifies as a Democrat and claims to have supported President Biden in 2020 however has been endorsed by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker and pro-charter college teams.
Underly has loved a large $1.2 million to $170,000 fundraising benefit over Kerr, an edge that extends to outdoors spending as effectively. Underly allies have injected $766,000 into the race, whereas essentially the most notable pro-Kerr group, the American Federation for Kids, has spent a much smaller $57,000.
Each candidates have needed to navigate various levels of controversy in the course of the race. The day after she clinched a spot within the runoff, Kerr, who’s white, posted a weird tweet claiming she’d been the sufferer of a racial slur used to focus on Blacks. Shortly afterward, Kerr’s marketing campaign supervisor and authorized counsel each stop. Kerr had benefited from some Republican help in the course of the main, however because the AP’s Scott Bauer notes, this abrupt change in employees might have presaged the rightward lurch her marketing campaign took within the second spherical of voting.
Kerr has additionally come beneath hearth for permitting the enterprise supervisor in her college district to remain on for almost a 12 months and a half after he overdrew financial institution accounts by almost $500,000 in 2009. Underly went after Kerr over this incident throughout a debate between the candidates and in a tv advert. Kerr, for her half, claims she investigated this incident as quickly as she was alerted to it.
Underly has confronted some backlash for sending her youngsters to a non-public college for a two-year interval when her household lived in Madison. Underly defended the choice by saying the varsity higher suited her childcare wants.
The race has featured the basic public college vs. constitution college battles that always mark races targeted on training, however the COVID-era subject of faculties reopening for in-person instruction has additionally been a problem. Although the state superintendent doesn’t have the ability to make these selections, Kerr has aggressively pushed for all college districts statewide to reopen. Underly’s stance has been extra muted, although she has advocated for reopenings to be primarily based on the discretion of particular person college districts.