Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, the longest serving speaker in state history, said he will run for reelection in 2022.
Vos, 53, was first elected to the Assembly in 2004 and became speaker in 2013. The Rocheter Republican passed Dem Tom Loftus (1983-91) for longest-serving speaker in January.
“I am excited at the idea of being able to work with a Republican governor who will help us move Wisconsin forward like we did under Gov. Walker,” Vos said in a year-end interview with WisPolitics.com, taking a shot at Dem Gov. Tony Evers as ineffective and partisan.
Vos said he takes it one election at a time and wouldn’t rule out running again in 2024. Republicans will be heavily favored to maintain the majority in the Assembly next fall, and Vos noted it would be up to his colleagues to again elect him to the leadership post.
On other issues, Vos:
*revealed he has spoken multiple times with former President Trump since he tweeted a picture in August of the two of them flying by private plane to a rally in Alabama. At the time, Vos tweeted he provided Trump details about “our robust efforts in Wisconsin to restore full integrity and trust in elections.”
“He has a great deal of interest in Wisconsin,” Vos said today about their calls. “But he doesn’t put any pressure on or anything like that. It’s just, ‘Hey, what’s happening? Keep me updated,’ more or less.”
*said his agenda for the spring floor period includes crime, support for police officers, education, unemployment insurance and welfare. He also wants to address bail following the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy in which a man out on $1,000 bond is accused of plowing through the crowd, killing six and injuring dozens of others.
Vos said he wants to keep “hardened criminals” from being released on bail. But he also wants a balance because he believes those accused should be considered innocent until proven guilty and doesn’t want someone wrongly charged to lose their livelihoods.
“I don’t want to use bail as a de facto prison sentence,” Vos said.
*defended Knudson, his appointment to the Elections Commission. Vos has called for Meagan Wolfe to resign as agency administrator and said the five commissioners the Racine County sheriff has accused of felonies “probably” should be charged. Still, he hasn’t called for Knudson’s resignation.
He said during the interview not just one person is the issue at the commission and there needs to be wholesale changes.
“I have a lot of respect for Dean Knudson’s integrity because I’ve known him,” Vos said of the former state rep. “I think he’s made a series of bad decisions here, and we’re going to have to take a look and say, `What is the right answer in the long run?'”