Trump backs rival to top Wis. Republican who won't decertify

·2 min read

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday endorsed a little-known Republican challenging Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, accusing Vos of doing too little to overturn 2020 election results in the swing state.

Trump called Adam Steen a “rising patriotic candidate” ahead of Wisconsin's Aug. 9 primary, in which Vos, the state's most powerful Republican, is heavily favored.

Vos has been Assembly speaker since 2013, spearheading almost every major Republican initiative since then. But he's still drawn fire from Trump for not doing enough to overturn Joe Biden's victory. He tried to appease Trump last year by hiring a former state Supreme Court justice to investigate the 2020 election and shepherded a package of election reform proposals through the Legislature, though Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed them.

But Vos has refused calls to decertify Biden’s win, saying it isn't possible, even as Trump targeted him on social media earlier this month. Steen has said one reason he decided to challenge Vos was because he wouldn't take up a resolution to decertify Biden's win, which has been confirmed by multiple reviews and court decisions.

Vos didn't immediately respond to a phone message.

Trump dubbed Vos a RINO — a pejorative for “Republican in Name Only."

“The Democrats haven't even bothered to put up a candidate to run against Vos because he does everything they say — he is their dream candidate — a Republican who does the job of a Democrat," Trump said in announcing his endorsement.

The Steen endorsement comes as primary voters in Arizona prepared Tuesday to choose between Republican candidates who support Trump's election fraud lies and those who feel it's time to move on. Trump has endorsed a slate of contenders in that state who support his falsehoods and the primary results promise to illustrate how much influence Trump still exerts on the party.

Todd Richmond, The Associated Press

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