WEC commissioner resigns; vote on new chair delayed

MADISON, Wis. — One of the Republicans serving on the Wisconsin Elections Commission abruptly resigned his position Wednesday, prompting commissioners to put off naming a new chair to lead the agency ahead of the general election in the fall.

Commissioner Dean Knudson announced his resignation at the start of the group’s meeting Wednesday evening. Knudson will step down once his successor is appointed and told fellow commissioners he has encouraged Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to appoint someone “as soon as possible.”

The Republican from Hudson, who described himself as “a conservative first and a Republican second,” took aim at those in his party who continue to claim widespread election fraud in Wisconsin led to then-President Donald Trump losing to Joe Biden.

“Two of my core values are to practice service above self and to display personal integrity, and to me, that integrity demands acknowledging the truth, even when the truth is painful,” he said. “In this case, the painful truth is that President Trump lost the election in 2020, lost the election in Wisconsin in 2020, and the loss was not due to election fraud. Election fraud happens in every election, but not large-scale fraud.”

Knudson added “it has become clear” that he cannot continue to represent Republicans on the commission, which he said has come under attack. His term had been set to expire on May 1, 2024.

READ MORE: Calls to end Wisconsin elections panel grow ahead of vote

The position is required to alternate between members appointed by each party. The current chair is Democrat Ann Jacobs.

Following his resignation, commissioners voted 5-1 to postpone naming a new chair until June 10. Republican Commissioner Robert Spindell, who has actively campaigned for the role, was the sole vote against the delay.