Trump, Angry About 2020, Tries to Oust Robin Vos in Wisconsin

BURLINGTON, Wis. — After months of toying with Robin Vos, who as the speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly is the most powerful Republican in state politics, former President Donald J. Trump endorsed Mr. Vos’s long-shot primary challenger on Tuesday in a futile effort to push the state’s Republicans to decertify the results of the 2020 election.

Mr. Trump backed Adam Steen, a largely unknown and underfunded far-right Republican who said he would aim to claw back the state’s 10 Electoral College votes from 2020 — a legal impossibility — and enact sweeping changes to the state’s voting laws.

Mr. Steen’s far-right views are not limited to elections. He is opposed to all abortions under any circumstances and he said in an interview on Monday that he would seek to make contraception illegal in Wisconsin.

“This is way deeper than a political discussion. This is a moral issue,” he said. “To me, you’re ending a life. Yes, I would definitely outlaw contraception.”

In his endorsement message, Mr. Trump blamed Mr. Vos for blocking efforts to conduct a “full cyber forensic audit” of the 2020 election and said he had “refused to do anything to right the wrongs that were done.”

“Speaker Vos had 17 years to prove to Wisconsin residents that he has their best interest in mind, but even in his own campaign efforts, Vos has tried to mislead his constituents, sending out mailers that feature a picture he took with me — trying to make voters believe I am a Vos supporter, which I am not,” Mr. Trump said. “I do not come close to supporting him.”

Mr. Steen, 38, is running on a platform that echoes the former president’s election grievances. He said that if Mr. Vos, who has been Wisconsin’s Assembly speaker for a decade, were removed from office, new leadership would be more amenable to holding a decertification vote, which Mr. Vos has blocked on grounds that it is impossible to decertify the results of a past election.

“I would have voted to pull back our electors because fraud vitiates everything,” Mr. Steen said in the interview on Monday, using a phrase common on the far right among those seeking to overturn past election results. “When you’re looking at the fact that we have an election that has lots of questions, I’d say, ‘Why, why?’ Could you tell me why Robin doesn’t want to look at it? I don’t know.”

Mr. Steen’s voting platform also includes limiting voting to a single day at in-person precincts. He said he would forbid all absentee and early voting except for a limited number of active military members and older adults who are confined to their homes.

Mr. Vos did not respond to interview requests. His spokeswoman said he would not be available to comment until after Wisconsin’s Aug. 9 primary.