Wisconsin GOP Speaker Robin Vos narrowly survives primary challenge

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Wisconsin GOP Speaker Robin Vos narrowly survives primary challenge

The Republican Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly, Robin Vos, narrowly survived a primary challenge on Tuesday after becoming the target of former President Donald Trump's ire, according to the Associated Press.

Vos' lead over Trump-backed challenger Adam Steen was less than 3 points on Wednesday. Trump has lashed out at Vos in recent weeks after the Wisconsin Republican refused to overturn the 2020 election in his state.

After his victory, Vos, the longest-serving speaker in Wisconsin history, told The Associated Press that lawmakers don't have to be a lapdog to whatever Donald Trump says. Steen could even make the race as close as it was, because Trump supported it one week before the primary day, showing Trump's influence and election denialism in the critical presidential swing state.

Vos was under pressure from Trump for months and faced criticism from his right flank about not pursuing the decertification of the 2020 election in his state, which President Joe Biden won by more than 20,000 votes.

Vos said last month that Trump called him after the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a decision earlier in the month restricting the use of absentee ballot drop boxes in future elections.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission expanded the use of drop boxes because of the epidemic in 2020, and Trump pushed Vos to decertify the results, because he has repeatedly denied evidence-free claims that the boxes contributed to widespread fraud.

Vos told Milwaulkee s WISN he declined, telling Trump it would be unconstitutional. Trump criticized Vos on his Truth Social platform, saying that election integrity seems to mean nothing to the Wisconsin lawmaker. In endorsing Steen, Trump accused Vos of fighting America First efforts and policies. Trump wrote that it was a RIGGED election. A lot of people will vote against Vos on Tuesday, and for good reason. A do nothing RINO! The Republican in Name Only Vos has resisted Trump's attempts to upend the election. In June 2021, Vos appointed former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to oversee a review of the election. In a later report, Gableman said lawmakers should consider decertifying the 2020 vote, but Vos said there was no Constitutional power to do so. A judge in Wisconsin said last month that Gableman found no evidence of election fraud in his report.

Gableman supported Steen, who campaigned on decertifying the election, and both men appeared at Trump's Wisconsin rally last week.

Vos said that the election was only about one topic. He said it was only about whether or not we could decertify the last election and overturn it. This is a referendum on overturning the election, which is unconstitutional. Vos was elected Speaker of the Assembly in 2004 and became Speaker of the Assembly in 2013. Vos' victory came after a Trump-backed challenger defeated Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers in a state Senate primary. Bowers, who testified before the House committee on Jan. 6th attack on the Capitol, refused pressure from Trump and allies to overturn the 2020 vote.