Vos’ Trump-Backed Rival Launches Write-In Campaign After Just Barely Losing

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) addresses the Assembly during a legislative session on December 4, 2018 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Andy Manis/Getty Images)
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Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) fended off his Trump-endorsed primary challenger by the slimmest of margins – and now said challenger’s taking another shot at Vos’ seat.

Adam Steen, a 2020 election denier who lost his race against Vos by a mere 260 votes, announced during a press conference in Burlington on Thursday that he would be running as a write-in candidate in November’s general election.

“I want the people to be able to choose their election representatives,” he said, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I want them to know the truth about the people that are going to represent them.

Steen signaled that he thinks he would’ve been more likely to win if more people had known about ex-President Donald Trump’s endorsement, which came only a week before the Wisconsin primaries on Aug. 9.

“I was endorsed by [former] President Donald Trump on Aug. 2, 2022,” Steen said, per Spectrum News 1 Wisconsin. “Approximately 2,500 people in this district did not know that endorsement had happened when they had voted on Aug. 9.”

Trump’s endorsement of Steen was largely an attack against Vos, who had enraged the ex-president by not magically de-certifying Wisconsin’s 2020 election results – a legal impossibility (the fact that Vos did launch a nakedly partisan election “audit” at Trump’s behest clearly wasn’t enough for the former president).

Vos responded to Steen’s announcement on Thursday by commenting that his rival “apparently can’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”

“He seems intent on re-litigating the primary election he lost, just like he wants to do with the 2020 election,” the Wisconsin GOP leader said.

Vos’ jab at Steen’s obsession with the 2020 election reflected the Assembly speaker’s new effort to distance himself from his past attempts to indulge Trump by commissioning the fake election audit, complete with a hardcore MAGA-ite Michael Gableman as the lead “investigator.”

Shortly after surviving his primary, Vos bashed the audit and Gableman, whom the speaker mocked as “an embarrassment to the state” (yet it was Vos himself who had appointed said embarrassment in the first place).

Several days later, Vos gave Gableman the boot.

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  1. Is this writing in campaign being funded by the Democratic party. It seems to me the Democrats have to be smiling ear to ear.

    The only way a Democrat has a chance in a highly gerrymandered district is for the Republicans to run two candidates. Who is Vos’s Democratic challenger this year? Does he have one? Is it too late for a Democrat to run?

  2. Avatar for tsp tsp says:

    If Steen is hoping to win in November as a write-in candidate, I hope he has the sense to demand that no ballots in the entire state contain any bamboo fibers.

  3. The very first questions that popped into my mind when I read the article. Republican vote splitting would be even better than a bad Repug candidate; please let there be a Dem candidate to take the third, and only sane side.

    Crap! Just read @mikeinmadison below.

  4. Alas, there is no Democratic candidate at this point, though there is a scramble underway to create a Dem write-in campaign as well.

    Moral of the story - contest EVERY seat, EVERY time. (Dems in disarray, dammit.)

  5. No D filed in time (deadline was June 1), so Vos may have been assuming he’d be running unopposed, as in 2020. The 63d is largely rural, consisting of that part of Racine County lying west of the City of Racine. The only sizeable town is Burlington, from which Steen hails (as does Tony Romo).

    ETA he was unopposed in 2010, but did have a D opponent in 2020 (h/t jinnj)

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