June 3, 2023

BURLINGTON, Wis. — After months of toying with Robin Vos, who as speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly is the most powerful Republican in state politics, former President Donald J. Trump endorsed Mr. Vos’s long-term frontrunner on Tuesday to no avail. effort to push state Republicans to ratify the 2020 election results.

Mr Trump endorsed Adam Steen, a largely unknown and underfunded far-right Republican, who said he would seek to regain the state’s 10 electoral votes from 2020 – a legal handicap – and enact sweeping changes to electoral state laws.

Mr Steen’s far-right views are not limited to elections. He opposes all abortion under any circumstances and said in an interview Monday that he would seek to make contraception illegal in Wisconsin.

“This is much deeper than a political debate. This is a moral issue,” he said. “For me, you end a life. Yes, I would definitely ban contraception.”

In his endorsement message, Mr Trump accused Mr Vos of obstructing efforts to conduct a “full cyber forensic audit” of the 2020 election and said he had “refused to do anything to fix the mistakes that were made”.

“Speaker Vos has had 17 years to prove to the people of Wisconsin that he has their best interests at heart, but even in his own campaign efforts, Vos has tried to mislead his constituents by sending out mailers that include a photo he took together me — trying to make voters think I’m a Vos supporter, which I’m not,” Mr. Trump said. “I don’t come close to supporting him.”

Mr. Steen, 38, is running on a platform that echoes the former president’s complaints about the election. He said that if Mr. Voss, who has been speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly for a decade, is removed from office, the new leadership would be more inclined to hold a decertification vote, which Mr. Voss has ruled out as impossible to decertify the results of previous elections.

“I would vote to withdraw our voters because fraud makes everything unfair,” Mr. Steen said in the interview Monday, using a phrase common on the far right among those seeking to overturn past election results. “When you look at the fact that we have an election that has a lot of questions, I would say, ‘Why, why?’ Could you tell me why Robin doesn’t want to look at it? I do not know.”

Mr. Steen’s voting platform also includes limiting voting to just one day in in-person precincts. He said he would ban all absentee and early voting except for a limited number of active duty military members and homebound seniors.

Mr. Voss did not respond to requests for interviews. His spokeswoman said he would not be available to comment until after the Aug. 9 Wisconsin primary.

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