Wisconsin Dems challenge Trump-backed candidate's paperwork

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Democrats are challenging the paperwork Donald Trump's preferred candidate for governor filed to get on the ballot in the GOP primary on technical grounds.

The state Democratic Party said Sunday that construction company co-owner Tim Michels' failed to include his correct mailing address on the nominating forms, making thousands of signatures invalid. But Michels' campaign dismissed the complaint as frivolous.

“This challenge shows that Donald Trump’s endorsed candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary, Tim Michels, only has 345 valid signatures to get on the ballot,” state Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler said. The state requires 2,000 signatures to run for governor.

Michels' campaign acknowledged that some of the nominating forms list his physical address in the village of Chenequa instead of his official mailing address that is in the nearby town of Hartland, but it said all of the forms include the campaign's post office box mailing address.

“Tony Evers and his insider allies are feverishly working to keep me from beating him in November," Michels said in a statement. “It comes as no surprise that they launched a frivolous complaint in an attempt to keep me off the ballot, just days after I was endorsed by President Trump. They will not succeed.”

Michels, who joined the race late in April, faces former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, state Rep. Tim Ramthun and business consultant Kevin Nicholson in the contested Aug. 9 GOP primary. The winner of that race will take on Democratic incumbent Evers.

The state's bipartisan elections commission will consider the challenge to Michels' candidacy at its meeting on Friday.