Jensen’s Group Enters Primary in State Senate Race

August 3, 2016

Scott Jensen

Scott Jensen, the disgraced former Speaker of the Assembly, appears to be throwing his weight around in the primary race for the 18th state senate seat.

Jensen is a senior policy adviser for the American Federation for Children, a Washington, D.C.-based group funded by wealthy interests throughout the country who support the creation and expansion of school voucher programs. The federation has been a leading lobbying group to expand voucher programs in Wisconsin, as well as one of the top spenders on outside electioneering activities in legislative elections.

The American Federation for Children Action Fund Independent Expenditure Committee filed paperwork about a week before the Aug. 9 primary showing that it spent about $23,000 on online advertising and mailings to support Mark Elliott, a Republican candidate for the open 18th Senate District seat held by outgoing GOP Sen. Rick Gudex, of Fond du Lac. 

The race is likely to be one of the highest-spending legislative contests for candidates and outside electioneering groups because it is an open seat and the district has been represented by Republicans and Democrats in recent years.

Elliott, who is also endorsed by Wisconsin Right to Life and ProLife Wisconsin, is running against Dan Feyen, who is chair of the Fond du Lac County Republicans, in the primary. The winner of that primary is likely to face Democrat Mark Harris on Nov. 8.

Feyen is being supported by a new group calling itself the Wisconsin Freedom Alliance, which is running televisions ads against Elliott.