MADISON, Wis. - She long argued for Wisconsin to decertify the 2020 presidential election results and then was kicked out of her Assembly caucus. Now, State Rep. Janel Brandtjen eyes a new job in the state Senate.
Alberta Darling has represented the 8th District -- which spans four counties -- for the last three decades. Her resignation opens the door for a newcomer, but this race may be more about the future of the Republican Party in Wisconsin.
From one chamber to another, State Rep. Janel Brandtjen says the best place for her to serve is now in the 8th District. The announcement comes just weeks after Republicans removed Brandtjen from their Assembly caucus, citing "continual issues" that led them to lose trust in her. She's spent the last two years calling for Wisconsin to decertify its 2020 presidential election results.
Her statement reads: "I can guarantee that I will continue to fight for the principles that every American shares."
State Rep. Janel Brandtjen
Though another candidate and current state representative says he's better for the job.
"The primary voters are going to have to decide who can be the most effective," said Rep. Dan Knodl of Germantown. "Being effective in the state Legislature really comes down to relationships with the other legislators, and I enjoy having really strong working relationships."
A third candidate, 21-year-old college student Robert Albrightson, is running as a Republican, too, but to Mordecai Lee, professor at UW-Milwaukee, this primary could be more about the future of the Republican Party in Wisconsin.
"There really are two Republican parties in Wisconsin," said Lee. "One of them sort of election-denying, Trumpish, the other one sort of old-fashioned conservative, a little bit more on the moderate side."
Republicans are looking to keep a Senate super-majority in Madison.
Brandtjen didn't respond to our request for an interview Monday.
So far, no Democrats have announced their intentions to run. It will up to voters to decide. The spring primary is Feb. 21 with the spring election set for April 4.