MADISON, Wis. — This week, noted elected conspiracy theorist Michael Gableman, who is also running the Wisconsin GOP’s partisan election review, took sides in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Gableman threw his support behind Radical Rebecca Kleefisch — who shares his extreme views on undermining democratic elections. Kleefisch has vowed to sign voter suppression legislation if elected and said she wouldn’t rule out allowing the legislature to overturn future election results, should she not like the outcome.


This endorsement could certainly make things awkward for Gableman, who sits on the advisory board for potential candidate Kevin Nicholson’s No Better Friend Corp. But there are no rules in this dumpster fire of a GOP primary. While Nicholson has said he isn’t sure which office he’s running for next year, he’s already taken shots at Kleefisch — calling her strategy for elections, as dumb as a bag of hammers.” And Donald Trump has different ideas than Gableman — he endorsed someone who doesn’t even live in the state of Wisconsin.


Even with Gableman’s support, Kleefisch is still facing at least three potential primary opponents, and make no mistake — Kleefisch will do or say anything to prove she is the most extreme candidate in this race.


Read more below.


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Gableman touts Kleefisch’s run for governor, asks for support in keeping his election review going


Michael Gableman talked up his review of the 2020 election at a Republican event over the weekend, telling the crowd he wouldn’t back down from Democrats and tipping his hand about his preferences in GOP primaries.


The former state Supreme Court justice at times has tried to portray himself as impartial and at others sought to stir up the Republican base. He’s on deck to speak at another Republican event later this month.


During an appearance Sunday in Beloit, Gableman appeared alongside former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and touted her bid for governor. That could put him in an awkward position if Marine veteran Kevin Nicholson decides to run for governor because Gableman serves on the advisory board for Nicholson’s political organization, the No Better Friend Corp.


Assembly Speaker Robin Vos of Rochester hired Gableman this summer to review the election, giving him a budget of $676,000. Recounts and court rulings have found repeatedly that the presidential election was properly called for Joe Biden over Donald Trump.


Democrats, election experts and some Republicans have called Gableman’s work a waste of taxpayer money that is needlessly damaging faith in the state’s voting systems. Some Republicans — including those Gableman spoke to Sunday — have welcomed his review.


Gableman told them they had to make sure they keep his review going. His contract expires this month and Vos has not said if he will extend it.




Gableman made the comments at the Rock County Republican Party’s “Merry Politics” event. He’s slated to attend a similar event on Dec. 20 with the Chippewa County Republican Party.


Republican state Sen. Kathy Bernier of Lake Hallie this week said she didn’t think it was a good idea for Gableman to attend political events while he is conducting his election review. On Monday, she said Vos should end Gableman’s review soon because it is going to hurt Republicans at the ballot box.


Democratic Rep. Mark Spreitzer of Beloit said he wasn’t surprised Gableman is attending partisan events because his hiring was announced at the state Republican Party’s annual convention and he’s filled his staff with Republicans and election skeptics.


“It’s an extension of what we’ve already seen, which is that this is not a legitimate investigation. This is a partisan effort and it’s designed to cater to the Republican base,” said Spreitzer, who sits on the Assembly Elections Committee.


In his speech, Gableman championed Kleefisch and implied she would win her primary and defeat Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.


“I know, Rebecca, you are going to be a fantastic governor,” Gableman said.


He praised her for her kindness and straightforwardness, but added, “She’s tough as nails too. You’re going to be fantastic.”


Nicholson is considering running for governor or U.S. Senate and is expected to make an announcement soon. His spokeswoman Courtney Mullen did not respond to a question about what Nicholson thought of Gableman’s comments.

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