Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate worked with false elector

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The executive director of Kevin Nicholson's nonprofit group signed a fake certificate that would have awarded Wisconsin's electoral votes to Donald Trump in 2020.

The executive director of a group founded by Wisconsin Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Nicholson was one of the 10 Republican false electors who tried to illegitimately award Wisconsin's electoral votes to former President Donald Trump after President Joe Biden won the state.

Darryl Carlson was listed as recently as Jan. 27 as the executive director of No Better Friend Corp., the conservative advocacy group Nicholson founded in 2019 and led until announcing his campaign for governor, according to an archived version of the group's website.

But at some point between Jan. 27 and Feb. 16, Carlson's name, image, title, and biography disappeared from No Better Friend Corp.'s website. Still, a picture from the group's ribbon-cutting ceremony showing Carlson standing next to Nicholson in matching polo shirts remains up on the website.

Nicholson's group takes its name from an unofficial motto of the U.S. Marine Corps coined by former Defense Secretary James Mattis: "No better friend, no worse enemy." Both Nicholson and Carlson served in the Marines during the Iraq War.

It's unclear why No Better Friend Corp. removed Carlson's information from its website, but the timing coincides with Nicholson's campaign announcement on Jan. 27. Carlson still identifies himself as No Better Friend's executive director on his LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

In the hours after Biden was officially certified as the winner in Wisconsin, Carlson, the Republican Party chair for Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District, met with the nine other Wisconsin Republican electors, including then-state party chair Andrew Hitt and Wisconsin Elections Commissioner Bob Spindell, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

In a statement, Hitt said the 10 electors met "to preserve our role in the electoral process while the final outcome is still pending in the courts." But documents obtained by the legal watchdog group American Oversight last March revealed that the Republican electors in Wisconsin and six other swing states had signed fake electoral certificates that would have awarded their states' votes to Trump.

Carlson's signature appears on Wisconsin's false certificate.

The Wisconsin GOP officials' actions also come at a point of high public interest in and legal scrutiny of Republican attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

On Feb. 15, the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection subpoenaed six Republican activists and officials it says either helped coordinate or knew about efforts to send "false slates of electors to Washington and change the outcome of the 2020 election."

On Jan. 28, the committee subpoenaed two of the false Wisconsin electors: Hitt and Kelly Ruh, the state GOP's 8th Congressional District chair. The two were to have turned over documents related to the false slate of electors, including text messages, phone calls, and written material, by Feb. 11. Ruh and Hitt are both scheduled to testify before the committee on Feb. 28.

There is evidence that the fake electors in Wisconsin were part of a larger effort by Republicans nationwide to give Trump a second term in office. In January, CNN reported that top Trump campaign officials, led by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, planned and led a multistate effort to send coordinated slates of false electors to Congress.

No Better Friend Corp. and the Nicholson campaign did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.