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Event outlining 2020 election fraud claims encourages local involvement

With about 300 people in attendance, Searching For Truth held an event Thursday, Dec. 9, at the Brainerd Exchange.

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An event titled "Searching for Truth" features Rick Weible, left, Seth Keshel and Susan Shogren Smith Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at the Brainerd Exchange event center. Speakers outlined 2020 election fraud claims and encouraged local participation in government and elections. Tim Speier / Brainerd Dispatch
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About 300 people from across the state and country attended an event Thursday, Dec. 9, at the Brainerd Exchange event center to discuss the 2020 election in Minnesota.

Organizers of the “Searching For Truth” event collaborated with the R-4 Foundation, an organization founded by Bob Gross and Nina Gross, owners of MaxBotix, to “tilt society towards God by bringing His values into everything.”

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Pastor Ben Davis (middle) introduced presenters Rick Weible and attorney Susan Shogren Smith Thursday, Dec. 9, at the Brainerd Exchange event center. Tim Speier / Brainerd Dispatch

Pastor Ben Davis of Remnant Ministry Center in Brainerd was a featured speaker, echoing voter fraud claims amplified by former President Donald Trump and his allies before, during and after the 2020 presidential election.

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RELATED: Crowd seeks 2020 election audit in Crow Wing County

The event also featured Seth Keshel, a self-described election data expert, predicting President Joe Biden’s vote counts in selected Minnesota counties. Keshel presented an explanation of his methods used to calculate expected voter numbers in the 2020 election, saying the finalized numbers “moved beyond what our data shows.”

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Republican Minnesota state Sen. Torrey Westrom, center, applauds Rick Weible and Susan Shogren Smith's presentation Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at the Brainerd Exchange. Tim Speier / Brainerd Dispatch

Over the course of the event, presenters continually reiterated to the crowd to become more involved in local goverment by running for lower level open positions and to sign up as election judges.

Participants were told to continue the push for election audits at the county level, highlighting the Crow Wing County Board meeting Tuesday, Dec. 14.

RELATED: County board chair asks for legal opinion on potential 2020 election audit

“In six months, if a candidate comes to you asking for money, to put up signs or for any help, ask them about doing a … forensic audit,” Keshel said. “If they say no, they’re dead to you.”

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In attendance and applauding the claims made by the presenters were both current and former state representatives, who echoed the crowd’s sentiment. Minnesota State Sen. Torrey Westrom, a Republican who won his District 12 seat in the 2020 election, and former U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis, who lost his 2020 bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Tina Smith, were both in attendance.


"In six months, if a candidate comes to you asking for money, to put up signs or for any help, ask them about doing a … forensic audit. If they say no, they’re dead to you."

— Seth Keshel


Westrom declined an interview request.

Other presenters included Rick Weible, the former mayor of St. Bonifacius, and attorney Susan Shogren Smith, who was given a $10,000 sanction in March after a judge found she “bamboozled” voters into signing on as plaintiffs in a lawsuit to contest Minnesota’s election results without their knowledge or permission.

Organizers, hinting at the cost of the event before Keshel went on stage and stating those who gave money could get a tax receipt, collected donations in envelopes marked with “Support R-4” as workers went around with baskets.

Lasting about two and a half hours, about two-thirds of those in attendance left after Keshel finished speaking. An hourlong Q&A session with the presenters followed the main event.

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TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme , call 218-855-5859 or email tim.speier@brainerddispatch.com .

Tim Speier joined the Brainerd Dispatch in October 2021, covering Public Safety.
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