Two weeks after election day 2022 and another race is settled as a Republican candidate in Wisconsin concedes to her Democratic opponent for Secretary of State — and it’s a result that will have voters breathing more easily, knowing a takeover of the process is not imminent.
Amy Loudenbeck wanted to abolish the Wisconsin Elections Commission and transfer oversight of elections entirely to the Secretary of State’s office — which is to say, the office she would have held.
She didn’t take an explicit position on the claims of certain former or present candidates that the 2020 election was “stolen,” but did claim that there were “serious questions and doubts” about how it had been handled in her state.
However, she just joined a long list of election-denying and election-questioning Republicans who lost their bid for positions that would give them significant control over future elections.
Though she lost her race by a fraction of a percentage point, she chose not to jump on the bandwagon of denial, and instead conceded the race to her opponent, incumbent Doug La Follette.
She said that she would not seek a recount in the race, which she lost by fewer than 8 thousand votes out of millions cast, and expressed her disappointment in the outcome.
She thanked the voters for turning out, as she conceded the office to the incumbent, who she accused in her campaign of being “a freeloader” who “has been collecting a state paycheck with nothing to show for it except his name on the door of an empty office.”
PBS reported on her race in August:
La Follette decided to run again because of his Republican challengers’ stated aims to oversee future elections and “possibly finagle the election coming up in 2024,” he said…Though Loudenbeck hasn’t explicitly stated she believes the 2020 presidential election was stolen or fraudulent, she favors transferring election oversight to the secretary of state’s office and abolishing the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
Loudenbeck released a statement on social media as the race was called, conceding her loss.
Obviously, the general election did not turn out the way we hoped it would. The feeling of disappointment is real, but so is the gratitude I have for the thousands of Wisconsinites who supported me in this campaign for Secretary of State. I have no regrets on how we ran our campaign or how hard we worked.
Previously she declared herself the candidate to turn around the office of Secretary of State, as seen in the campaign clip below, attacking not only the incumbent but the office as one that had lost value.
She reiterated the same on her campaign site, where she said she would restore “purpose and respect” to the role.
It seems a majority — if slim — of Wisconsin voters, however, believe that the office is functioning as it should without her intervention.
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.