The Guy Who Tried to Steal Wisconsin for Trump Is Running for Governor

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell told VICE News he’ll endorse state Rep. Tim Ramthun because “He has been doing so much in Wisconsin.”
Cameron Joseph
Washington, US
Trump Wisconsin Tim Rathmun Mike Lindell
In a Nov. 7, 2020 file photo, a supporter of President Donald Trump is seen during a rally in Milwaukee after it was announced that the president was defeated by Democrat Joe Biden.(AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

The man leading the charge to overturn former President Donald Trump’s Wisconsin election loss appears to be running for governor—and has been endorsed by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

A website announcing Wisconsin GOP state Rep. Tim Ramthun’s run for governor briefly went live on Wednesday, days after Ramthun advertised a “special announcement” at an upcoming Saturday campaign event.

Advertisement

The website said Lindell was endorsing Ramthun—and Lindell confirmed this was accurate.

“He has the people’s back. He has been doing so much in Wisconsin to address the biggest problem we have in this country, and that’s the 2020 election and the 2022 election, which is that we don’t do the same things we did, all the stuff that was done illegally in the 2020 election,” Lindell told VICE News Thursday morning.

It’s unclear how much traction Ramthun will get in the GOP primary. But Lindell may not be the only big-name Republican who will back him. Trump told Ramthun, “You’re my kind of guy” and offered to endorse him, Ramthun recently told Rolling Stone. If he follows through, that could be a game-changer. A Trump spokesman didn’t immediately respond when asked if he planned to endorse Ramthun, and Ramthun didn’t pick up when called.

Ramthun, like Lindell, has repeatedly promoted baseless conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. And the lawmaker has repeatedly tried to decertify Wisconsin’s 2020 election results and remove the state’s Electoral College votes from President Joe Biden. That’s infuriated other Wisconsin GOP lawmakers, who have said publicly there’s no legal mechanism to do so.

When Ramthun falsely accused Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos of being in league with Hillary Clinton, Vos responded by stripping Ramthun of his lone legislative staffer last month. Ramthun then introduced another bill to certify the 2020 elections, which was quickly discarded—but not before the pro-Trump conspiracy theory website Gateway Pundit lauded it.

Advertisement

Ramthun’s apparent campaign website was taken offline after the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on its existence Wednesday night.

“I'm a servant of, by, and for the people who believes in truth, transparency, and integrity,” said a message attributed to Ramthun on the site. “I will call for an independent full forensic physical cyber audit for the November 2022 election, beginning with my race regardless of its outcome.”

Ramthun joins a growing field whose front-runners include former Wisconsin Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who has the support of most of the state’s GOP establishment, and 2018 Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson, who is being bankrolled by GOP megadonor Richard Uiehlein. Jonathan Wichmann is also running on a platform similar to Ramthun’s, and has picked up some traction on the far right.

Wisconsin Republicans are very bullish about defeating Democratic Gov. Tony Evers this fall—but some worry that Ramthun’s entrance into the race, and Trump’s possible endorsement, could hurt their chances in the key swing state.

“Tim Ramthun running for governor is just what the Wisconsin GOP needs to snatch defeat from the jaws of almost certain victory this November,” one longtime Wisconsin GOP operative texted VICE News about Ramthun’s likely run.

Follow Cameron Joseph on Twitter.