La CROSSE — Dane County Dem Party Chair Alexia Sabor and longtime incumbent Doug La Follette today emphasized the importance of protecting secretary of state’s office from election meddling.

La Follette is the only Dem incumbent to draw a challenger in the Aug. 9 primary.

La Follette, who is on vacation in Africa, provided his remarks in a prerecorded video statement. He has said he booked the trip before the pandemic.

Though Sabor did not mention La Follette by name in her speech, she said she is running because the state needs someone to bring “new energy” to the position and who will “fight hard to protect democracy.”

Several GOP candidates for the office have said they want to either abolish or reform the Wisconsin Elections Commission, and some have said the secretary of state should take over election administration.

“I’’m going to push back on attempts to infringe on voter rights. I’m going to push back on attempts to undermine our election integrity,” Sabor said. “I’m going to push back on attacks on our election officials across Wisconsin who are coming under fire simply because they’re trying to do their job according to Wisconsin law.”

In his video statement, La Follette thanked voters for re-electing him in the past and urged them to reelect Gov. Tony Evers.

“His veto power has saved us from dozens of pieces of legislation proposed by neanderthal Republicans in the Legislature,” La Follette said of Evers.

La Follette also called U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, a “laughingstock around the nation.”

La Follette told Dems the secretary of state position must stay in Democratic control to avoid Republican interference in elections and argued he is the best person to do the job.

“The key issue in the primary for the secretary of state is which candidate is best positioned to win the November election — I am that candidate,” La Follette said.

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