La Follette to make election announcement in state Capitol

March 16, 2022 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette said he’ll make an announcement about his campaign plans on Thursday.

The 81-year-old Democrat has held the office since 1983. He said in a statement released Wednesday that he’ll make an announcement about his “plans for the 2022 election cycle” Thursday morning in the state Capitol rotunda.

Republicans have stripped the position of nearly all its duties and staff over the years. Now, though, Republicans upset with how the Wisconsin Elections Commission handled the 2020 presidential election have been mulling putting the secretary of state in charge of elections.

Republican state Rep. Amy Loudenbeck announced a run for the office in December, saying she wants to serve as a check on the elections. Three other Republican candidates —Dimitry Becker, Jay Schroeder and Justin Schmidtka — have called for shifting election oversight to the office as well.

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La Follette said then that he was still thinking about whether to run again but saw no reason not to try again. He added that he believes the election commission should remain in charge of elections.

La Follette declined to reveal his plans during a brief phone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. He did say that it’s getting harder to collect nomination signatures, especially during the COVID-19 era.

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This story has been corrected to fix spelling of Justin Schmidtka’s last name.