A Dane County judge has ruled against Wisconsin GOP state Rep. John Nygren's effort to get onto the ballot to challenge Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen, after state election officials disqualified Nygren due to a lack of sufficient petition signatures. It leaves the GOP with only one other candidate in the race -- who brings some personal baggage.
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As WisPolitics reports, Nygren has now announced that he will not further contest the decision, and as such is dropping out of the race. "While I disagree with the court's decision, I respect the process and will cease any further actions to appeal this decision," Nygren says. "It's unfortunate that my candidacy in this recall election has been determined by Democrat-appointed GAB staff that has constantly worked against me as I defended myself from the Democratic Party's frivolous challenges."
When he filed his petitions, Nygren only turned in 424 signatures, just over the 400 minimum. Candidates are allowed to turn in up to 800 signatures, twice the minimum, in order to have a buffer against signature disqualifications (and in nearly all cases, they do submit a significant buffer). After Democrats challenged errors and qualifications for some signatures at the state Government Accountability Board -- which oversees elections in the state -- he was busted down to 398, two short of the threshold, thus keeping him off the ballot.
Some perspective: Republicans were able to gather over 18,000 signatures to trigger a recall against Hansen (and even though some of them were fraudulent, this was still an accomplishment overall) -- yet did not make enough of an effort to get 400 signatures plus a decent-sized buffer for their preferred candidate.