Ted Cruz broke with Trump and endorsed Rebecca Kleefisch, the opponent of Trump-backed Tim Michels.
Trump is headed to Wisconsin in August to stump for Michels.
In May, Cruz backed Mo Brooks, a congressman who once had the former president’s backing.
Sen. Ted Cruz has broken with former President Donald Trump once again by endorsing an opponent of a Trump-backed candidate running in Wisconsin’s gubernatorial primary.
Cruz on Tuesday tweeted his support for Rebecca Kleefisch, writing: “Rebecca will fight for a stronger economy, school choice so parents are back in charge of their kids’ education, & she will work to protect Life & our #2A. Support Rebecca’s campaign today!”
Notably, the Texas lawmaker did not back Tim Michels, Trump’s pick for the race. Trump had endorsed Michels in June, calling him “a very successful businessman.”
“If Wisconsin has the wisdom to make Tim their next governor, it will have unprecedented success!” read Trump’s statement at the time.
Trump is due to visit Waukesha to stump for Michels on August 5 — just four days before the August 9 vote.
Representatives at Trump’s post-presidential press office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Cruz’s backing of Kleefisch marks his second notable break from the former president regarding political endorsements.
In May, Cruz stumped for his GOP colleague, Rep. Mo Brooks, who was running for a senate seat in Alabama. In a speech, Cruz mocked Republicans who pledged allegiance to Trump, while lauding Brooks.
In contrast, Trump in March rescinded his endorsement of Brooks, saying the congressman “went woke” over the 2020 election. Up till that point, Brooks had been known as a staunch Trump ally.
Other GOP figures have used endorsements to challenge Trump’s control over the party.
Outgoing Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, for instance, denounced Trump-backed candidate and election denier Dan Cox, calling him unfit for office. Cox eventually beat Kelly Schultz, a Hogan-backed moderate GOP candidate, in the Maryland primary elections,
In May, former Vice President Mike Pence stumped for incumbent Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp in his race against his Trump-backed challenger, David Perdue. Kemp trounced Perdue and is set to go head-to-head for the governor’s seat against Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams. Trump’s PAC later claimed without substantiation that Kemp only won the Georgia primary because of voter fraud.
Pence is now backing Karrin Taylor Robson for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in Arizona. Robson is running against the Trump-endorsed Kari Lake,
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