Trump-Backed Candidate Loses Key GOP Primary In Wisconsin

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Adam Steen, a Trump-endorsed candidate in the GOP primary for the Wisconsin state legislative seat currently held by State Assembly Speaker Rep. Robin Vos (R), lost on Tuesday.

Trump supported Steen while criticizing Vos for refusing to take further action to undercut the 2020 presidential election outcome. After the Wisconsin state Supreme Court ruled that most drop boxes for mail-in ballots in the state were illegal, Trump called Vos to push for the invalidation of the 2020 election outcome in Wisconsin, where Biden won. The state legislative leader refused the ex-president’s demands and said he explained to Trump that undoing the outcome of the election in such a manner wasn’t legally possible. Steen, who had no experience in elected office prior to his bid for Vos’s seat, proposed entirely eliminating early and absentee voting. He also proposed eliminating the usage of machines for the tabulation of ballots, although taking that step would both substantially complicate the process of figuring out the results and open up new opportunities for error.

As of early Wednesday, Vos had 51.3 percent of the total in results from his district, while Steen had 48.7 percent. The district is on the smaller side, and the total number of votes cast was reported as just under 10,000 at the time those results were available. At that point, almost all — if not all — of the votes were in, and the Associated Press called the race for Vos, who’s the longest-serving speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly in the history of Wisconsin. After he proved victorious, Vos said his success showed legislators “don’t have to be a lapdog to whatever Donald Trump says.”

A lot of what Trump said in his endorsement message for Steen — which the ultimately unsuccessful contender eventually proudly put on his campaign website — centered on complaining about Vos rather than showing particular excitement for Steen as a candidate in his own right, although Trump eventually got around to doing so. Trump mentioned “Vos” 14 times and “Steen” just five times. “Adam Steen… is a motivated Patriot, dedicated to making Wisconsin Great Again,” the former president said. “He has had the courage to stand up strongly against “Speaker” Vos. Adam will bravely serve the people of Wisconsin, and bring with him strength, wisdom, and a new patriotism.”

Curiously, the Adam Steen endorsement on Donald Trump’s personal website seems deleted. Trump’s side also recently lost in a Washington Congressional primary, where Rep. Dan Newhouse — one of the ten Republicans who voted in favor of Trump’s impeachment after the Capitol riot — moved on to the general election alongside a Democratic challenger after Trump endorsee Loren Culp failed to reach the necessary level of support. Trump was more successful in other races: his chosen candidate advanced to the general election over another Washington Republican, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who was also among the ten who voted to impeach Trump. In Wyoming, polling suggests Rep. Liz Cheney (R) will soon lose her primary as well. Wyoming is one of the last states in the country to hold its primaries this year.