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CHIPPEWA FALLS — Chris Connell, a Republican running for the 68th Assembly District, has no doubt in his mind that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Donald Trump.
“The 2020 election was stolen by fraud,” Connell contends. “It’s been 100% proven in multiple ways. Joe Biden is president, but he shouldn’t be.”
Four Republican candidates for state office, led by gubernatorial candidate Timothy Ramthun, attended a rally and fundraiser Sunday in the town of Wheaton, west of Chippewa Falls.
There is no evidence of widespread fraud that would have changed the outcome of the 2020 election, either in Wisconsin or nationally. Efforts to overturn the outcome have been repeatedly rebuffed by the courts. That has not dampened the candidates’ belief Trump won.
Ramthun, 65, of Campbellsport, has represented the 59th Assembly District for the past four years. He is facing GOP challengers in construction executive Tim Michels, former U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson and former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. The winner of the Aug. 9 primary will advance to the November election to face incumbent Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.
“If you don’t have election integrity, if you don’t have elections, you have selections,” Ramthun said. “This is about process, not about people. Illegalities are continuing to come out in the state.”
Ramthun outlined a process where states could decertify their votes. He contends that if Joe Biden no longer has 270 votes from the Electoral College, he could be removed by a vote by the states.
“I believe (Trump) was defrauded,” Ramthun contends. “He was cheated.”
Ramthun has angered many within his own party; he is at odds with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican. Ramthun believes Vos isn’t doing enough to find election fraud, although Vos has approved spending $676,000 of taxpayer money to investigate the election results, and hired former State Supreme Court Judge Michael Gableman to conduct the investigation.
“Robin Vos is the origin of obstruction,” Ramthun said. “He should be investigated for his many behavioral problems.”
The group stands by their election claims, even though Chris Krebs, a Department of Homeland Security cyber security official, called it the “most secure” election in U.S. History. William Barr, the attorney general in the Trump administration, proclaimed it was free of widespread fraud, and every Secretary of the State in the country — Democrat and Republican alike — certified the election. FBI Director Chris Wray also reported that he found no widespread proof of voter fraud.
Connell, 61, of the town of Seymour, is a life-long mechanic. He got interested in running for office after the 2020 election.
“My campaign motto is ‘repeal the steal,’” Connell said.
However, while Connell believes Biden should be removed, he doesn’t think Trump should automatically resume the presidency.
“We’re not trying to insert Donald Trump,” Connell said. “We know that can’t happen. That’s not what this is about.”
Both Connell and Ramthun pointed to a film dubbed “2,000 Mules,” which they contend proves ballot box stuffing and fraud.
If elected, Connell said his other issues would be eliminating teaching critical race theory and eliminating the teaching of “gender weirdness.”
Sandra Scholz, 56, of Lake Hallie is running for the 23rd State Senate seat, held by retiring Sen. Kathy Bernier.
“It’s the government overreach,” Scholz said of why she’s running. “I am very concerned there was (election) fraud. I am friends with groups who have brought forward irregularities. If we don’t have free and fair elections, then you’re enslaved.”
State Assemblyman Jesse James and longtime GOP treasurer Brian Westrate are also running for the seat. Scholz said she started attending Republican Party rallies after the 2020 election.
“The difference (between me and the other candidates) is I do want to go back to the 2020 election, and investigate and fix that,” she said.
Scholz, a nurse for 30 years, moved to Wisconsin 12 years ago from Louisiana. She believes that hospitals are intentionally killing patients to get federal COVID-19 dollars. She describes herself as a Christian, pro-life, pro-second amendment and pro-small business.
Amber Provance, 35, of Pepin is a certified nursing assistant, and she won a seat on the Pepin County Board in April. She is running for the 31rst Senate Seat, currently held by Democrat Jeff Smith. She said friends encouraged her to run.
“People definitely want election integrity,” Provance said. “They want paper ballots. My concerns are the checks and balances. I think that needs to be put back in place.”
Besides election integrity, Provance said she wants to see school choice with money going to schools, balanced budgets and term limits.
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