State Elections commissioners Wednesday edged closer to a showdown with Republican state senators over whether Elections Administrator Michael Haas should continue to lead the agency. Elections commissioners voted 4-2 Wednesday not to take immediate action on the issue and revisit it at a March 2 meeting. As was the case last week, Republican commissioner Beverly Gill voted with the three Democratic commissioners. Commissioners voted last week to retain Haas, who has led the commission’s staff since the agency’s 2016 inception, until at least April 30. That came in spite of a state Senate vote earlier in January to oust Haas and the state Ethics Administrator, Brian Bell.
GOP commissioner Dean Knudson, a former state lawmaker, proposed to name a new administrator — first by selecting an interim administrator, then launching a national search for a permanent one — at Wednesday’s meeting. He was joined by Republican commissioner Jodi Jensen.
Democratic commissioners who opposed Knudson were Mark Thomsen, Ann Jacobs and Julie Glancey. Joining them was Gill, the governor’s GOP appointee to the commission and a former city of Burlington clerk.