The Wisconsin Realtors Association has withdrawn its endorsement of Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagendorn due to disclosures of his “past statements and actions.”
The group, a frequent player in state campaigns that typically backs Republican and conservative candidates, gave Hagedorn the maximum $18,000 PAC donation in late January.
Since then, media reports have detailed Hagedorn’s blog posts while a law student that included “The idea that homosexual behavior is different than bestiality as a constitutional matter is unjustifiable” following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning a Texas anti-sodomy law. The liberal One Wisconsin Now also highlighted Hagedorn’s association with a private school that bars employees from being in a same-sex relationship. Hagedorn has said he’s being unfairly attacked or his Christian faith.
Joe Murray, the WRA’s director of political and governmental affairs, said Thursday the group had never before pulled an endorsement and has requested the Hagedorn campaign return the $18,000 PAC donation.
“The real estate related issues that served as the basis for our endorsement have been overshadowed by other, non-real estate related issues – issues with which we do not want to be associated and that directly conflict with the principles of our organization and the values of our members,” WRA President & CEO Michael Theo said in a statement this week.
Hagedorn consultant Stephan Thompson said the group has received the WRA’s request to return the donation and is in the process of doing so.
“Madison isn’t going to decide who sits on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the voters are,” Thompson said. “Lisa Neubauer and her liberal allies will do anything to take over the court, including attacks on people of faith. Despite Neubauer’s smears, Judge Hagedorn will continue to spread his message of defending the rule of law, upholding the constitution, and protecting the public.”
Neubauer consultant Scott Spector called the development “yet another sign that people are rejecting the partisan and radical views of Judge Hagedorn. ”
“Judge Neubauer is earning support from those who know both candidates best; law enforcement and judges in every corner of the state, because she supports a fair, impartial, independent court in which every litigant feels like they can get a fair shake,” he said.