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Democratic governor candidate Kelda Roys takes out $235,000 second mortgage to boost lagging campaign

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Kelda Roys

MILWAUKEE — Democratic candidate for governor Kelda Roys has taken out a second mortgage on her Madison home to boost her campaign, even as she lags way behind in the polls.

Roys took out a $235,000 second mortgage on her home June 25, five days before loaning her campaign $255,000, according to Dane County property records and Roys’ campaign finance filing.

The loan vaulted Roys into the lead over her Democratic rivals in the amount of cash they have on hand. The closely watched statistic reflects each campaign’s ability to run television ads in the final four weeks of the campaign.

But Alec Zimmerman, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, says Roys’ fundraising numbers amount to “smoke and mirrors.”

“Kelda Roys’ fundraising claims are as phony as the rest of her rhetoric — Wisconsin voters can’t trust anything she says,” Zimmerman said.

Roys already had a $392,500 mortgage on the west side Madison home from 2015, records indicate. The home’s assessed value is $587,800.

Brian Evans, a spokesman for Roys’ campaign, did not directly address the timing of the second mortgage, which came shortly before the deadline for Roys’ second quarter fundraising numbers.

“The campaign isn’t going to discuss personal finances beyond what’s available in public record and the statement of economic interests,” Evans said.

Roys has been able to inflate her fundraising numbers by loaning herself $351,200, the most of any candidate, since she launched her campaign last year.

But she trails frontrunner Tony Evers badly in the polls. She got only 3 percent support among Democratic primary voters in the  Marquette University Law School Poll released Wednesday, putting Roys in a tie for sixth place.

Evers got 31 percent of the vote, with 38 percent of Democratic voters undecided.

The primary is Aug. 14.

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