Grassroots Wisconsin Republicans have, for the first time, opted not to endorse any major candidates in several statewide elections at the 2022 State Convention in Middleton.
Instead, the winner of the Aug. 9 primary, hoped by many Republicans to be Sen. Ron Johnson, will face off against Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.
The move not to endorse any candidate signals the desire of “grassroots activists” at the convention “to allow candidates to continue to make their case to voters ahead of the August primary,” WisGOP said in a statement on May 22.
The convention this year invited a “greatly expanded” list of candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state treasurer, and secretary of state.
“With the defeat of Tony Evers and the Democrats being of the highest importance in 2022, the WisGOP wants those attending the convention to hear from as many candidates as possible,” WisGOP said in a statement on May 20.
Most Wisconsin Republican candidates have questioned President Joe Biden’s election win.
All four of the GOP’s leading Wisconsin gubernatorial candidates support either abolishing or significantly overhauling the GOP-created bipartisan commission that oversees elections in the state following the results of the 2020 U.S. elections, AP reported.
The 2020 elections have become a divisive issue for Republicans in Wisconsin, where there have been lawsuits, reviews, and recounts upholding the results.
An investigation into Wisconsin’s 2020 election was paused by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos in an announcement on May 11 amid several legal battles. Vos survived a vote at the convention to oust him.
Some state Republicans sought to remove Vos from his role for not pursuing former President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud and for not decertifying Biden’s Wisconsin win.
“We have no ability to decertify the election and go back,” Vos said to loud boos. “We need to focus on moving forward.”
Republicans also voted against rescinding the state’s 2020 Electoral College votes over the weekend.
Candidates needed the support of 60 percent of the delegates to secure the GOP’s endorsement, which unlocks significant financial support from the party.
At the convention around 50 other resolutions were adopted, including for all ballots in the state to be cast on paper and hand-counted on Election Day, according to Just The News. These results are not yet officially available on the WisGOP website.
Most of the resolutions require law changes and are non-binding but form part of the GOP’s platform.