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Endorsement: Fischbach and her challenger haven’t earned our endorsement for Minnesota’s 7th District

Michelle Fischbach's irresponsible vote to dispute Electoral College votes in the 2020 presidential election set a "horrible precedent" and we cannot endorse her for re-election.

Editorial FSA
We are part of The Trust Project.

The Constitution provides no role for Congress whatsoever in choosing slates of electors for president outside of a purely ceremonial certification vote that’s intended to bestow a unifying congressional seal of approval on the people’s choice.

That very narrow constitutional role was flouted when 139 Republican members of the House of Representatives voted to dispute the Electoral College count — votes cast on Jan. 6, 2021, soon after a mob stormed the Capitol.

U.S. Rep. Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn., the freshman who represents western Minnesota’s 7th District, was among the majority of Republicans who voted to dispute the count, part of efforts to subvert the will of voters and keep then-President Donald Trump in office.

The vote, which Fischbach has not repudiated, was not only notorious, it was disqualifying.

Her irresponsible vote was in support of Trump’s false and destructive lie that the election had been stolen from him — a baseless claim that has never been proven, and was thrown out of court multiple times, including by judges Trump himself had nominated, and refuted by numerous vote recounts and audits.

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“We are in the throes of an important struggle in this country,” McLemore said to students, faculty, and community members Tuesday. “...This battle is around the right to vote.”

The votes by the rogue GOP members challenged slates of electors presented by Arizona and Pennsylvania, crucial swing states that Biden carried, part of an elaborate plot to keep Trump in office.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., was among the minority of Republican House members who properly voted to accept the electors. Similarly, North Dakota's John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer did not join eight GOP Senate colleagues in voting to overturn the presidential election.

Some Republican members of Congress, shaken by the violent attempt to subvert voters, dropped their objections to those electors and voted to accept them. The vote certification is mostly ceremonial, intended to put a congressional seal of approval on the voters’ choice.

Fischbach was not one of those Republicans who reversed course.

During her term in office, Fischbach hasn’t distinguished herself in any way beyond her vote with the most extremist voices in the Republican caucus to overturn the vote, despite her oath to uphold the Constitution.

She was not among the nine House GOP members who recently voted for an electoral count reform bill intended to prevent recurrences of the effort to subvert the will of voters on Jan. 6. That bill passed the House, and the Senate version, which has 10 Republican co-sponsors and is backed by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate majority leader, appears likely to pass.

Both parties — and the American people — have a vested interest in maintaining the integrity of the election process, including the Electoral College count. Fischbach and the others have created what one GOP member called a “horrible precedent,” one that could invite Democrats to do the same in a future election, and risks a dangerous breakdown in democratic norms.

In the past, a few Democrats have tried to challenge presidential votes, but they were tiny in number and the challenges came after the Democratic candidate had conceded the race.

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Fischbach failed to exercise independence and good judgment. She joined the pack, placing loyalty to party above loyalty to country.

She has not earned our endorsement for re-election, and she does not deserve it.

Fischbach’s DFL challenger, Jill Absahain, hasn’t mounted much of a campaign. She’s staked out positions that are glaringly short on details. In summarizing her priorities, for example, Absahain lists child care and preschool as priorities, but just weeks before the election, the section is “under construction.”

We are therefore unable to endorse either candidate in Minnesota’s 7th District race.

This endorsement represents the opinion of Forum Communications Co. management.

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