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MADISON— Former Republican state Rep. Adam Jarchow is running for attorney general, setting up a primary with Fond du Lac District Attorney Eric Toney.

Jarchow told the Cap Times in a story published Thursday that he was running and that he hoped that other Republicans join him. The move comes two weeks after Ryan Owens, a University of Wisconsin law professor, dropped out of the race amid criticism from some conservatives for deleting podcast interviews he had done with critics of Donald Trump.

Jarchow, an attorney, had previously endorsed Owens. Jarchow said the fact that Toney charged 10 people with misdemeanors for violating Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ COVID-19 stay-at-home order is “disqualifying,” Toney later dropped the charges.

“We just cannot allow, at least without a race, one of Tony Evers’ lockdown henchmen to be our nominee,” Jarchow told the newspaper. “That just cannot happen.”

A spokesman for Toney did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The winner of the Republican primary next year will face Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul. Kaul’s spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Jarchow’s entry into the race.

Jarchow, of Balsam Lake, was elected to the Assembly in 2014 and served until he lost a special election for the state Senate in 2019. He did not seek reelection to the Assembly.