GOP appointee Bob Spindell, who was one of 10 electors who signed papers falsely claiming Donald Trump won Wisconsin instead of Joe Biden, told WisPolitics.com he “absolutely, positively” will run for chair when the Elections Commission elects new officers on Wednesday.
Securing the chair’s spot would require support from at least one Dem member of the commission, and that could be difficult considering the number of clashes Spindell has had with his Dem colleagues during his time on the body.
The next chair will serve through the 2022 midterm and in the runup to the 2024 presidential election, when Wisconsin is again expected to be a key state.
Under commission rules, the next chair will have to be a Republican after Dem Ann Jacobs held the post for the past two years.
Former state Rep. Dean Knudson, a GOP appointee, served as chair before Jacobs took the helm.
Under commission rules, the clerk appointees aren’t eligible for the post. That means either Knudson or Spindell, chairman of the 4th Congressional District Republican Party, will serve in the post. Commission rules also require an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of members to approve any action, including selecting a chair. That would mean four votes from the six-member commission, which is split evenly between Dems and Republicans.
Knudson didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment if he was interested in serving as chair again.
Spindell was sued last week by two of Wisconsin’s presidential electors and a voter after he participated in the December 2020 effort to send papers to the federal government claiming they were casting the state’s electoral votes for Trump. Spindell has defended the move, saying it was done as a legal strategy to preserve Trump’s option as he sought to challenge Wisconsin’s results.
Spindell also spoke at a December 2020 rally in which others falsely claimed there was widespread fraud in the election in Wisconsin.
Spindell said in a phone interview Monday he believes the 2020 election was “rigged” in how it was administered. Still, he said none of the factors in how it was run have been declared illegal, and he believes Biden won Wisconsin.
Spindell said electing him chair would help restore confidence in the commission, particularly among Republicans who have been critical of the agency.
“I think there’s no question I’m by far and away the most qualified and best person to help the Election Commission obtain a better stature and also to make sure that all the interests of the people of Wisconsin are followed, including 50 percent that are Republicans,” Spindell said.
See more on the meeting here.