Mark Thomsen, a Democrat, to chair new elections commission

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Mark Thomsen

MADISON — Wisconsin’s new elections commission has selected Democratic appointee Mark Thomsen to chair the body in its first two years.

The commission held its first official meeting Thursday, the same day the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board dissolved. Republican lawmakers eliminated the board after criticisms that it was biased, replacing it with the partisan ethics and elections commissions.

The elections commission drew lots out of a red Wisconsin mug Thursday to determine which party would lead it into its first two years. With Democrats winning out, the commission easily selected Thomsen as chair, Democratic appointee Ann Jacobs as vice chair and Republican appointee Beverly Gill as secretary.

In two years, the party leadership of the commission will switch.