After several weeks of refusing to acknowledge a new president-elect, Rep. Pete Stauber made a nod to a Joe Biden presidency on Sunday.
Appearing on KBJR-TV's Beyond the Headlines, the Hermantown Republican referenced last week’s Biden win over President Donald Trump in the Electoral College, 306-232.
“Just this past Monday, we have a President-elect Biden,” Stauber said. “I’m looking forward to working with any administration, just like I worked with the Trump administration when they supported our economic drivers in our 8th Congressional District.”
Until Sunday, Stauber had repeatedly declined to accept a Biden victory which has been apparent for weeks since the Nov. 3 election.
Earlier this month, Stauber did not accept Biden, and told the News Tribune he believed in “questions of validity in certain states,” and that Trump was within his right to “look into these allegations of irregularities and request recounts under the law.”
Last week, Stauber was roundly criticized for joining more than 120 Republican House colleagues by signing onto an amicus brief in support of a Texas lawsuit aimed at preventing votes from counting in swing states, and overturning Biden's win.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied Texas’ case, saying it “has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.”
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, City Councilor Arik Forsman and St. Louis County commissioners Patrick Boyle and Frank Jewell, both former Stauber colleagues on the County Board, wrote a public letter rebuking Stauber.
“In one stroke of your pen, you destroyed your credibility with your constituents,” they wrote. “This action would not only silence millions of Americans across our country but would, in effect, nullify the votes of thousands of your own constituents, many of whom voted for both you and Joe Biden.”
Stauber told KBJR he accepted the criticism.
“Civic engagement is healthy and I appreciate opinions on both sides of the aisle,” he said.
Stauber seemed to tell KBJR his appearance in the amicus brief was misconstrued.
“In no way was it meant to overturn any election results,” Stauber said, explaining that what he disagreed with was states that altered their election processes without full support of state legislatures.
Many states made voting adjustments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by enhancing mail-in voting to reduce congestion at the polls.