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Speaker Robin Vos asks Gov. Tony Evers to move special election

Gov. Tony Evers and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos
Posted at 11:10 AM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 13:58:21-04

MADISON — Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos asked Gov. Tony Evers on Friday to reschedule a congressional special election because the primary would fall on the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

Evers called the special election for Jan. 27 to fill Republican Sean Duffy's seat in the 7th District of northern Wisconsin. But the Republican speaker said in a letter to the Democratic governor that would require a primary Dec. 30, the final day of Hanukkah.

Evers' decision to hold the special election in January avoided potentially boosting GOP turnout in a state Supreme Court election in April.

Democratic state Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, who is Jewish, questioned why Vos was making the request given that the Assembly has met in session on Jewish holidays in the past.

"Vos isn't Jewish and has, from my knowledge, never cared about Jewish issues until now," Brostoff said. "He's never even reached out to me once, even when he scheduled things on holidays previously."

But the liberal Wisconsin Democracy Campaign took Vos' side.

"Having a primary during the holidays just isn't cool," wrote Executive Director Matthew Rothschild. He said holding the primary on a Monday during the holidays would be "anti-democratic" because it's likely to result in extremely low turnout.

Duffy's final day in Congress was Monday. He stepped down because his ninth baby, due next month, was diagnosed with a hole in its heart that will require his time and attention.