By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Former President Donald Trump won one and lost one in Wisconsin’s August primary elections.
Businessman Tim Michels, endorsed by Trump, won the Republican Party nomination for governor.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) appears to have squeaked out a close race against Adam Steen, the Trump-endorsed challenger in the 63rd Assembly District Republican primary.
With 99% of the votes tallied early Wednesday morning, Vos led Steen by 260 votes, 5,084, to 4,824, or about 2 1/2 percentage points.
Steen vowed to pursue decertification of Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election results that gave Democrat Joe Biden a narrow victory over Republican Trump. Vos has repeatedly said it is legally impossible to change the results of the election.
Vos, the longest-serving Assembly Speaker in state history, told Wispolitics.com that Trump’s endorsement of Steen made the race much more competitive.
“The Democrats spent $1.4 million against me last time (in the 2020 election), and I won,” Vos said. “Republicans under President Trump and his entourage spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lying about my record, and I won again.”
But Trump notched a big win on his growing list of successful endorsements with Michels’ victory. The former president was in Waukesha last week to stump for the businessman.
Overall, Trump had a net-win night of endorsements in Wisconsin. He has long supported U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh), who won his walk-in-the-park primary with 84% of the vote. Johnson will face off against uber liberal Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who made his Democratic Party coronation official Tuesday by winning 78% of the vote. Easy enough after three of the four leading candidates dropped out of the race days before the election.
“Tonight it became official. The leaders of the Democrat party have chosen their most radical left candidate for the U.S. Senate race. It sure doesn’t seem like Wisconsin voters had much of a choice in the matter,” Johnson said. “his is a contest between radical left socialism versus freedom and prosperity. It will also pit the lies and distortions of Democrats and the media versus the truth.”
And Trump backed Derick Van Orden, who ran unopposed in the 3rd Congressional District Republican primary.
Trump also picked up an endorsement win in Connecticut’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate. As Politico reported, Trump last week endorsed Leora Levy, the Republican National Committee member whom he nominated to be U.S. ambassador to Chile in 2020, though she was never confirmed.
In his endorsement, Trump said Levy was a “tireless advocate” for the state — but spent the rest of the time bashing Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s “fake war story” from his time in the military and downplaying GOP opponent Themis Klarides’ endorsements from Republican governors.
Levy “will defeat the corrupt Richard Blumenthal in November, and what a victory that will be,” Trump said.