Hagedorn launches ad hours before Supreme Court debate

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn is launching a new television ad branding opponent Lisa Neubauer a tool for liberal groups hours before the two are scheduled to debate.

Hagedorn campaign adviser Stephan Thompson announced the ad Friday morning. Hagedorn is scheduled to debate Neubauer at 6:30 p.m. in Madison.

The spot warns that Neubauer will turn the court into a "political playground" for liberal special interests. Thompson says the ad will run statewide but isn't saying how much it will cost.

Hagedorn and Neubauer are vying to replace retiring liberal Justice Shirley Abrahamson in the April 2 election. The race is officially nonpartisan but conservatives back Hagedorn and liberals support Neubauer.

Conservatives currently control the court 4-3. A Neubauer victory would give liberals a chance at control in 2020.