Pence praises Kleefisch and her conservative record during visit to Wisconsin

NOW: Pence praises Kleefisch and her conservative record during visit to Wisconsin

PEWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The tale of dueling endorsements in the Republican primary race for governor began Wednesday, Aug. 3, with former Vice President Mike Pence hosting an event for Rebecca Kleefisch days before former President Donald Trump visits for Tim Michels.

Pence joined former Governor Scott Walker in Pewaukee with law enforcement officials to discuss tackling rising crime while touting the conservative record of Rebecca Kleefisch who served eight years as the former Lt. Governor.

"There is no candidate for governor in America that is more capable, more experienced or a more proven conservative than Rebecca Kleefisch," Pence said. "I am here for one reason and one reason only and that is Wisconsin and Americans need Rebecca Kleefisch to be the next governor of this great state of Wisconsin."

Pence's visit comes two days before former President Donald Trump hosts a rally on Friday in Waukesha for his endorsed candidate Tim Michels, who's locked in a tight race with Kleefisch.

Tuesday's primary election will be a test to see how impactful both endorsements will have on Republican voters when they head to the polls Aug. 9.

During the roundtable discussion, Kleefisch promoted her tough on crime agenda, which includes hiring more than 1,000 police officers, increasing police officers at schools and putting more law enforcement in high crime areas.

"We cannot afford sky rocketing violent crime in this state anymore and that's what will happen if we get Tony Evers for four more years," Kleefisch said. "That's why we need to vote for change."

Law enforcement officials, including former Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales, talked about the need to better equip police departments as they battle recruitment and retention issues, mental health resources and a rise in drug overdoses.

"If we can't have happy, healthy and incompetent law enforcement that are willing and able to do what they do every single day to protect our citizens then what do we have," said Columbia County Sheriff Roger Brander.

Kleefisch has secured endorsements from the Milwaukee Police Association and the Wisconsin Federal Order of Police.

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