MADISON, Wis. – Today, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler and attorney Jeff Mandell held a press briefing detailing a challenge to the validity of a majority of Trump-endorsed candidate Tim Michels’ nomination signatures. If the challenge succeeds, Michels would not have met the legally required threshold for inclusion on the ballot. The Republican Party has centered their messaging on “election integrity” and this complaint is precisely that: ensuring all candidates follow the law and that the Michels campaign is held accountable.
An almost identical complaint has been filed against Patty Schachtner, Assembly District 28 candidate by Robin Vos’ campaign arm, the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee that seeks to disqualify her on the same grounds.
Ben Wikler, Chair, Democratic Party of Wisconsin: “Yesterday, a nomination signature challenge was filed that has the potential to completely reshape the Republican gubernatorial primary. This challenge shows that Trump-endorsed candidate Tim Michels only has 345 valid signatures – well below the 2,000 signatures required to get on the ballot in Wisconsin. Michels claims to care about election integrity, even while courting Donald Trump and the extreme fringes of the Republican base by spreading lies about the 2020 election results. Election integrity means following the law – and Tim Michels did not follow the laws laid out in Wisconsin statutes to file enough valid signatures to make the ballot for the August primary.”
Patty Schachtner, Assembly District 28 Candidate: “The Wisconsin Legislature and the Elections Commission have established baseline requirements for nomination papers. The Elections Commission has set out clear guidance to help candidates meet those requirements. Mr. Michels has failed to follow those rules. I know because my campaign has unfortunately made the same mistake. The WEC should follow the rules. ”
Jeff Mandell, Attorney: “It’s actually pretty simple. The Wisconsin statutes include certain baseline requirements to get on the ballot. […] The Elections Commission addresses it in the guidance that it gives to candidates and in the forms that it provides for nomination papers. It is a situation that Mr. Michels’ recognized in his sworn under oath and notarized Declaration of Candidacy which he filed with the Elections Commission that distinguishes between his mailing address in Hartland and his voting municipality, which is a village. Under Wisconsin law, if the information in the heading of a nomination paper is wrong, no signatures on that paper can count and under Wisconsin law, candidates themselves are responsible for ensuring that their nomination papers are prepared, circulated, signed and filed.”