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Friday, July 1, 2011

 2:20 PM 

Nygren says he won't contest court ruling

Rep. John Nygren, whose appeal to get on the 30th Senate District GOP primary ballot was denied today by a Dane County Judge, said that while he still believes the will of the people was on his side, he won't appeal the decision.

"I think we did have the required amount of signatures," Nygren, R-Marinette, said after the ruling. "I'm disappointed that we didn't have more than the 465 that was turned in. We should have, and I, as a candidate, accept responsibility for that."

He added that it was difficult to get people to sign affidavits to repair signatures in the current political environment -- noting that some recall signers in the seat have been "harassed" -- and that his work passing the budget took him off the campaign trail.

He apologized to his prospective supporters, saying, "We're going to work hard to rebuild the reputation that I think I've earned over the last few years as being a hard working legislator that represents my people pretty well."

Nygren said the timing of the recall elections made it difficult to appeal, and criticized his opponents that "chose to challenge and kind of make a game out of the process."

"In my view, I don't like the way things have gone over the last few months myself," Nygren said. "Elections should take place at the ballot box, not in courtrooms."

He said it was too early to consider a potential write-in candidacy in the election, set for July 19, and that he would "take a look" at supporting David VanderLeest, the recall organizer and now the only remaining GOP candidate to take on Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay.

"I don't think my support is necessarily important," Nygren said. "I think it's the support of the people of the 30th District that's more important. He's got to go out and earn it, and I wish him well."

Asked whether this made Hansen safe, Nygren said, "These recall elections are unpredictable."

-- By Andy Szal

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