The St. Croix County Republican Party is encouraging Republicans to vote for a fake Democratic candidate in Tuesday’s 10th Senate District primary election, according to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
Isaac Weix is one of six fake Democratic candidates who entered the race to force Democratic primary elections in Wisconsin.
County GOP chairman Jesse Garza urged Republicans in an email sent Sunday to support Weix, a Republican, who is running against Democrat Shelly Moore.
“If you want to end this recall effort Tuesday, vote,” the email said, “and send this message out to everyone who will vote for Isaac! We will save the State Senate and put an end to Shelly Moore’s attacks if you vote!”
The winner will run against incumbent Republican Sen. Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls in August. An estimated 23,000 signatures were filed in April to recall Harsdorf, who supported Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial “budget repair bill,” which stripped nearly all collective bargaining rights from public employees.
Garza said the Wisconsin Republican Party was not involved in the campaign for the fake Democrat.
The Republicans admitted in June that they planned to run candidates as Democrats in this summer’s recall elections.
“Republican senators are again busy doing their jobs crafting a fiscally responsible state budget that promotes economic growth, which puts them at a distinct disadvantage with many of their challengers who have had sufficient time to campaign,” Stephan Thompson, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said in a statement.
“Because of this disadvantage, and the outrageous nature of elected officials facing recall for standing up for a balanced budget, the Republican Party of Wisconsin has advocated that protest candidates run in Democratic primaries to ensure that Republican legislators have ample time to communicate with voters throughout their districts after the state budget is approved,” he added.
Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said he would not replicate Republicans’ “dirty tricks” by running fake Republican candidates.
“The unprecedented Republican manipulation of these recall elections has compelled a number of people to urge a level playing field by running fake candidates in GOP primaries,” he said in June.
“We cannot and will not stoop to the Republicans’ level by encouraging candidates to lie about their party affiliation, or recommending that people try to deceive voters,” he continued. “We never have done that, and won’t start now.”