A Wisconsin state senator who stood up to attacks on the 2020 election results from other Republicans announced Friday that she will not seek another term in office.
State Sen. Kathy Bernier (R) said in a statement that “no one has forced me out and politics has not played a role in my decision,” but the announcement came just a few weeks after she joined a small group of Republicans telling the truth about 2020.
Bernier took aim last month at the partisan investigation of the 2020 performed by Michael Gableman, a former state supreme court justice who has stacked his review with investigators who’ve pushed lies about the 2020 election, and who has himself entertained theories about widespread voter fraud, despite lacking any evidence. Bernier called such claims “a charade.”
“No election is perfect, but there is no evidence of intentional malfeasance, no evidence that the election in 2020 wasn’t accurate,” the state senator said. She separately suggested that Gableman “wrap up sooner rather than later, because the longer we keep this up, the more harm we’re going to do for Republicans.”
Bernier’s view was colored by her own experience with elections: she’s a former county clerk who now chairs the state senate’s Committee on Elections, Election Process Reform and Ethics.
Gableman didn’t follow the senator’s advice, blowing past an initial Dec. 31 deadline to wrap up his investigation and telling a Republican event last month — he’s attended several, including to endorse a gubernatorial candidate — “I am about to start spending more money.”
Bernier added in her remarks last month that she planned to attend an event where Gableman was speaking publicly with her concealed carry permit, because he “keeps jazzing up the people who think they know what they’re talking about, and they don’t.”
In response, Gableman called on Bernier to resign.