Efforts To Recall Wisconsin Speaker Ramp Up Against Steep Odds

The effort to recall Robin Vos began at the behest of President Trump and his allies when Vos refused to impeach Wisconsin’s chief election officer after the 2020 election.

Samantha Madar/Wisconsin State Journal via AP, file
Robin Vos during a press conference at the Wisconsin state capitol at Madison, February 15, 2023. Samantha Madar/Wisconsin State Journal via AP, file

Recall election efforts against the speaker of the Wisconsin state assembly, Robin Vos, are escalating, with the state supreme court declining to rule on which district lines should be used in a recall election Wednesday and arguments over the recall petition set for Monday.

“We decline to further clarify or amend the opinion and order,” the court said Wednesday of its unanimous decision, referencing a December ruling that the district lines at the time were unconstitutional.

Since then, the state has implemented new maps passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed into law by Governor Evers.

An effort to launch a recall election against Mr. Vos began at the behest of President Trump and his allies after Mr. Vos refused to launch an impeachment against Wisconsin’s chief election officer and decertify the results of the 2020 election.

Since then, Mr. Vos has survived a primary battle against a Trump-aligned opponent. Now, though, he appears to be on track to dodge a recall election.

In mid-March, a recall petitioner for the Recall Vos organization, Matt Snorek, said at a news conference outside the Wisconsin Election Commission, “I carry with me the voice of more than 10,000 Racine County residents.”

While the state only requires some 7,000 signatures to initiate a recall election, a review of the signatures found that the recall petitioners had failed to collect the requisite number of signatures from residents of the district that Mr. Vos was elected to represent.

Falling about 900 signatures short, organizers asked the state supreme court to clarify if they needed signatures from the district Mr. Vos was elected to represent in 2022 or the new constitutional district in which he will run in 2024.

In refusing to clarify which lines should be used, the court kicked the decision to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The commission has until April 11 to rule on whether organizers have collected enough signatures.

On Monday, the groups organizing to recall Mr. Vos are due in court once again at a hearing where they are expected to ask for more time to fend off the challenges made to the signatures.

If Mr. Vos is successful in avoiding a recall, it could be a rare instance of an elected official defying the former president and still retaining a position. 

Other high-profile Republicans, like Congresswoman Liz Cheney or Vice President Pence, have been politically sidelined due to their disagreements with the former president. Mr. Vos, though, has proved politically resilient, serving in the state assembly since 2004 and as its speaker since 2013.

Even if Mr. Vos survives the recall efforts, there are signs that his time as the most powerful Republican in Wisconsin is limited. A Marquette University Law School poll from February found that Mr. Vos enjoyed a 17 percent favorability rating in the state.

In conversation with the Daily Cardinal, the last Democratic speaker of the state assembly, Mike Sheridan, predicted that Mr. Vos will “fade” even if he survives the recall.

“Robin, I would predict that he’s not going to be around much longer. I know that he’s being attacked from all sides,” Mr. Sheridan said. “He’s got a real challenge on his hands.”

Recall Vos organizers did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Sun.

The New York Sun

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