In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Wis. GOP Candidate: Let's Talk About The Issues, Not My Legal And Financial Problems

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Newscom

The GOP became stuck with VanderLeest after their preferred candidate, state Rep. John Nygren, failed to submit 400 valid petition signatures. Nygren had submitted only slightly over 400 signatures for himself -- despite the fact that Republicans had been able to gather 18,000 signatures to trigger a recall -- with not enough of a buffer for when a few them were disqualified. Nygren initially filed a lawsuit to get onto the ballot, but lost in court and then announced he would not further appeal the decision.

VanderLeest, who had helped organize the signature drive to recall Hansen, was able to submit enough signatures to withstand Democratic challenges -- and since then, has been targeted by national Dems with a TV ad campaign about his messy personal history.