Arthur Kohl-Riggs filed more than 2300 signatures at the Government Accountability Board Tuesday to confirm his candidacy for the Republican primary of the upcoming recall election. At least 2000 valid signatures are needed to face off against incumbent Scott Walker on May 8, 2012.
There is a three day period for striking, challenging, rehabilitating and verifying signatures which ends at the close of business on Friday April 13, 2012. Then another three day period ending Monday April 16, allows the candidate to respond to possible challenges. Kohl-Riggs’ current signature total is 2182. Current signature totals and updates can be monitored here. The GAB Board meets Tuesday at 9am to certify candidates for the ballot.
Kohl-Riggs entered the race on Monday April 2, 2012 and relied heavily on social media and the internet to rally his supporters. His Facebook page Art For Gov provides updates and information about his candidacy. Many question his motivations and the validity of running as a Republican when he has never identified with the party prior to this race. He has also been criticized for running as a “fake” candidate. He explains:
“There are several reasons why my candidacy is different from that of the fake democratic candidates.
“First, I don’t consider myself a fake Republican, I want to take the party back to its roots. The Republican party was founded in Wisconsin as a pro labor, abolitionist party and I plan to run on that platform.
“Second, my presence on the ballot doesn’t change the structure of the election at all, the fake Dems are running to try to game the system and force a primary that wouldn’t have otherwise happened. This, in turn, gives the incumbents more time to campaign and raise money. My presence on the primary ballot does not force an extra election or change the timing of the primary.
“Third, I have never identified with either of the two parties and it would be equally disingenuous for me to run as a Democrat. Right now my views most directly align with those of the Progressive Republican party of “Fighting” Bob La Follette
“Fourth, I plan on actually campaigning and participating in the election whereas the fake Democratic candidates are strictly holding space on the ballot in an attempt to game the system.
“Finally, I am not working for, nor am I receiving any funds from the Democratic party. The fake Democratic candidates are running as agents for the GOP, their papers were circulated and filled out by members of the GOP, and their presence on the ballot is simply to provide a benefit for the Republican party. In fact, I do not intend to accept money from any special interest group.
“On the subject of fake candidates, Scott Walker is the fake Republican. His policies and the actions of his administration are out of line with the values of La Follette, and Lincoln, and the original principles of the Republican party.
“I hope this addresses any issues anyone might have had about the fake Democrat thing. I am not worried about the pending legal issues with the fake candidates as it simply does not apply, I am not a fake anything.”
When asked about the likelihood of his grassroots signature collection process coming to fruition a year and a half ago before the Wisconsin Uprising of last winter, Kohl-Riggs replied,
“Candidates normally have six weeks to collect 2,000 signatures, we were given ten days and I started 3 days late. So we collected over 2,000 signatures in 7.5 days. I was terrified coming into it, but I had an amazing amount of support from all over the state. Yesterday we had close to 200 signatures come in the mail from dozens of counties. I don’t think that I would have been able to do it without the support that people have shown me. I don’t think that I would have been able to accomplish this feat without the amazing support of the friends and the followers that I have gained in this past year.”
Kohl-Riggs gathered the sufficient number of signatures extremely quickly, in 7 days to be exact. Recall elections are “special elections” and different time frames apply to signature collecting. Kohl-Riggs expects to have his name on the primary ballot when the GAB finalizes the process.
Kohl-Riggs looks forward to setting his platform and campaigning. There is a relatively short window of time, less than four weeks, to get the message out to his possible future constituents. For more information on Arthur Kohl-Riggs’ candidacy, please visit www.iartwi.com.