MADISON — Democratic candidate for governor Tony Evers started receiving security protection from the Wisconsin State Patrol this week following an unspecified “issue” in his deadlocked campaign with Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Both Evers and Walker were campaigning across the state on Wednesday in a final push just six days before the election.
A Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday showed Evers and Walker tied with 47 percent support just six days before the election. That’s consistent with other recent polls.
“It’s hard to conclude anything than a true toss-up race,” said Marquette pollster Charles Franklin. “This race could clearly tip any direction based on our data.”
Evers’ campaign manager Maggie Gau, who was traveling with Evers as he campaigned Wednesday, confirmed the new police protection came after an “issue” arose over the weekend, but declined to say what it was.
The daily log report for the Barron County Sheriff’s Department shows that on Sunday the State Capitol Police requested that a 23-year-old resident of Dallas, Wisconsin, be interviewed about a comment he made about Evers on Facebook.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said he didn’t know anything about the issue and said he couldn’t comment about any interview that may have taken place.
State Patrol spokesman Christian Schneider declined to comment.
“As a general policy, we do not comment on security-related matters,” Schneider said.
Walker receives security protection from the patrol, as have past governors. But it is unusual for candidates to receive that level of protection. Security for Walker was heightened in 2011 during massive protests at the Capitol and Walker has often talked about threats he and his family members received during that time.
The move to guard Evers comes after pipe bombs were mailed to prominent Democrats, critics of President Donald Trump and media outlets, and a shooter killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday.
On Tuesday, Evers joined former Vice President Joe Biden for rallies on the university campus and at a Milwaukee union hall.
Biden 2was one of among Democrats who authorities say were the intended recipients of the mail bombs . Security was tight at his Madison appearance, with attendees required to go through metal detectors to get into the hall.
Evers was on a bus tour Wednesday with other Democratic candidates and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, who represents south-central Wisconsin and Madison, making stops in a series of small towns between Dodgeville and La Crosse. Walker was campaigning in Beloit and Elkhorn.