Madison, Wis. ( Associated Press) — Wisconsin’s secretary of state has no role in the election, but that could change if Republicans win a seat from Democrats and pass legislation that would give the office many more responsibilities.
All three Republican candidates vying for the nomination in Tuesday’s primary support former President Donald Trump’s false claims that he won the 2020 election.
If passed, the measure would be a bold attempt to shift power to the position Republicans hope to control in the 2024 presidential election and would represent a change from six years ago, when Republicans voted for bipartisan support. With that the Wisconsin Election Commission was established. In 2020, Democrat Joe Biden led Wisconsin in the presidential race by nearly 21,000 votes.
“It’s not about politics,” said David Baker, a former Justice Department prosecutor and director of the Center for Election Research and Innovation, a nonpartisan organization. “It’s about election results.”
Once a low-profile race overseen by statewide governor and attorney general campaigns, now the secretary of state is attracting a lot of interest and money this year, fueled in large part by the 2020 election, when the system and voting procedures are over. Was attacked by Trump and his supporters.
There are also primaries on Tuesday for the secretary of state in Minnesota, Connecticut and Vermont. In Minnesota, the leading Republican candidate called the 2020 election “rigged.”
Although the stakes are high, the Wisconsin primary for the State Department has remained largely silent. The incumbent, Democrat Doug La Follette, is barely campaigning. In June, the 81-year-old, who was first elected to the position in 1974, opted for a two-week trip to Africa.
According to the most recent campaign finance report, La Follette has raised about $21,000. This is not unusual as his only function is to sit in his office and check some travel documents.
La Follette has said that he has decided to run again to prevent Republicans from interfering in the election. Her main rival, Dane County Democratic Party executive board chair Alexia Sabor, has raised about $24,000.
Cassidy reported from Washington; Steve Karnovsky in Minneapolis, Susan High in Hartford, Connecticut, and Wilson Ring in Montpelier, Vermont.