Guide to Republican Candidates
Republican U.S. Senate duel leads the way on Tuesday's ballot.
Tomorrow – Tuesday, August 14th – is the fall partisan primary in Wisconsin. Polls open at 7 a.m. Find your polling place and see a sample ballot at My Vote Wisconsin.
Since it is a partisan primary, voters will only be able to cast votes for candidates in a single party. Ballots submitted with votes for, say, the Democratic gubernatorial primary and the Republican Senate primary will not be accepted.
You’ll find separate stories on the Democratic primary candidates and the non-partisan candidates for Common Council. Here we cover the Republican primary candidates. The top vote-getter in each race will advance to the general election held on November 6th.
Below you’ll find basic information provided by the candidates themselves and a link to their website and Facebook page. And if you click on their name you’ll be brought to any stories written about the candidate. Candidates names are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot.
Republican Primary – Governor
Scott Walker grew up in a small Wisconsin town named Delavan. His father, Llew, was a pastor, and his mother, Pat, was a secretary and bookkeeper. His grandparents were farmers and machinists. From a young age, these mentors instilled in Scott the importance of service and the dignity of putting in a hard day’s work.
Scott’s first job was washing dishes at the Countryside Restaurant. Later, he flipped hamburgers at McDonald’s. No matter the job, Scott always carried with him the work ethic modeled for him in his youth.
In school, he was active in sports, band, and church, and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. It was in 1985 that Scott’s eyes were opened to public service after he was selected to attend the American Legion’s Badger Boys State program. It was there that he learned the virtues of American government and the importance of freedom. Scott thrived at Badger Boys State and was selected out of hundreds of young, aspiring men to be one of two representatives from Wisconsin to Boys Nation in Washington, D.C.
Scott went on to attend Marquette University in Milwaukee. While in school, he worked for IBM before leaving his senior year to take an opportunity to work full-time in finance and development for the American Red Cross.
In 1993, Scott was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly. Then, in 2002, he became the first Republican elected Milwaukee County Executive. Voters in the overwhelmingly Democrat county reelected Scott by increased margins in 2004 and 2008 because he kept his promises to continuously reform county government and put taxpayers first.
On January 3, 2011, Scott Walker was inaugurated as the 45th Governor of Wisconsin. One of his first reforms, Act 10, helped eliminate the state’s $3.6 billion budget deficit without raising taxes or cutting health care for those in need. It gave schools and local governments the tools to balance budgets without the massive layoffs seen in other states. So far, the reforms have saved taxpayers some $5 billion.
On June 5, 2012, Scott Walker became the first Governor in American history to survive a recall election. He received both more votes and a higher percentage of the vote than in his 2010 election, proving again that Wisconsinites want leaders in office who keep their promises.
On November 4, 2014, Scott was re-elected to a second term.
Working together with a reform-minded Legislature, Scott has achieved bold budget reforms, cut taxes by some $8 billion, made record investments in our K-12 classrooms, frozen UW tuition six years in a row, and helped make Wisconsin one of the top states for business. He continues to fight for more bold reform to keep moving Wisconsin forward, and to create greater freedom and prosperity for hard-working families.
Scott and his wife, Tonette, have two sons – Matt, who works in digital media in Milwaukee, and Alex who works as a political organizer in Wisconsin politics. In addition to working for the American Lung Association, Tonette leads several initiatives including Fostering Futures, which aims to make Wisconsin a leader in Trauma Informed Care. The Walker family is active in church and several charitable programs.
Scott loves riding his 2003 Harley-Davidson Road King on winding roads, adding steps on his Fitbit by running and walking around the state, and visiting Wisconsin supper clubs with family and friends. He is thankful for God’s abundant grace.
Government is a mechanism by which we organize the work we all do together in our society. The economy is obviously the sum of everyone working to make a living. Wisconsin is fortunate to have an extremely diverse economy, and some very important strategic advantages including our state’s tremendous beauty. Because our rural population is not growing, we urgently need every sector of the economy to be at full strength. We need to address the farm crisis, get Milwaukee running on all cylinders, return Wisconsin to national leadership in hemp production and build out the I-94 corridor.
This is election time, and not to sound preachy but every American adult shares the same basic responsibilities to be informed, and make up his/her mind. We’re all stewards of the Great American Experiment and we need to do everything we can to make our government as representative and participative as it can possibly be. The anti-Walker Democrat approach hasn’t worked in part because people want candidates and ideas to vote for — not against.
Education is our most important economic driver. Employers across are having a hard time filling jobs, so we’re spending millions on out of state job recruitment ads. But WI ranks last in the US achievement gap rankings. And our NAEP scores have dropped from 3rd place nationally to 34th over the past 20 years. This means scores of thousands of WI students and adults can’t read and write well enough to participate. Improving our education outcomes for every student will be one of my top priorities!
Republican Primary – Secretary of State
Jay is committed to running for the people of Wisconsin and by earning every vote through connection with Wisconsinites. Jay travels the state to explain the ineffectiveness of the position of Secretary of State and the overall need to downsize government whenever possible. Schroeder is campaigning for a referendum to either make the position merely ceremonial or restore the position’s former duties.
His political interests date back to 1970 when he and his grandmother would go to different political events together. After receiving an Associate Degree of Applied Science Real Estate from Fox Valley Technical College, he then advanced to a Business Administration Degree at UW Stout. Jay continues to be a licensed mortgage loan officer and owns a small business specializing in Real Estate and Stock Market Investing.
Jay Schroeder is not anchored in Madison like Lafollette, but embodies the reality that surrounds Madison. He is from a small town in Wisconsin and promises to the people of Wisconsin that he will help take back Madison and the state. Jay is excited to meet with each and every voter and answer any questions that they may have.
After graduating from McFarland high school in 1998, Spencer enlisted in the Air Force for four years and was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. On duty during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Zimmerman received the Joint Service Achievement Medal for meritorious service. During his time in the military Zimmerman obtained a CDL driving semi for a mobile unit and graduated from the Community College of the Air Force with a degree in Information Systems Technology. After an honorable discharge Spencer obtained a B.S. in Business Administration from Edgewood College. He has worked as a tanker truck driver for an agricultural cooperative, as a Signature Line Service Technician refueling aircraft at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling, Illinois, and is employed as a chauffeur for Presidential Transportation Service. Zimmerman is a recipient of the Lyman Anderson Award for public service, rated highest with the NRA, and was endorsed by Pro-Life Wisconsin
Republican Primary – US Senate
I am a conservative who recently joined the Republican party as I find that their basic political views are mostly the same as mine. Family, strong defense, legal immigration, fiscal responsibility, and reducing the debt are a few. Current issues are jobs and the economy. I do support the tea party movement that also reflects the conservative political values. I am a realist and know that starting a third party will only split the conservative majority and therefore insure the election of the liberal faction. This cannot be allowed to happen as it will defeat the real goal that we as conservatives believe necessary to preserve the nation we love.
I find the current administration is on the destructive path to creating a bankrupt third world nation that I call the Obamanation. This nation is formed with the misguided philosophy that all are entitled to everything regardless of the cost to freedom, standard of living or need. This administration is like a child who wants everything now and doesn’t understand that life is not lived immediately but over time. Problems are solved not with massive panic but in steps so the results of action can be proven effective.
My Father Carroll Lucia was from Green Bay, Wisconsin and working as an engineer for Lycoming aircraft engine plant in Williamsport, Pennsylvania when he met my Mother Madge (Jane) Campbell who was working as an switchboard operator for the phone company. They moved to South Bend Indiana where I was born in September on the 15, 1942 . I have a Birth certificate to prove it. We moved around the midwest with my one sister born in Toledo, Ohio and a second sister in Detroit, Michigan where my father was employed in the automotive industry. We moved to Green Bay in 1958 where my father started a small business. I have lived in the area since. My father and mother and the older sister have all passed away.
My ancestors were immigrants to this country before there was a country called the United States. They fought in the revolutionary as well as the civil war to preserve the union. My father worked as an engineer on the Rolls-Royce aircraft engine for the P51 mustang and the PT Boats during WWII. I was in the United States Air Force From 1962 till 1966 during the Vietnam war. My son was in the Army and served in Desert Storm. I currently have a nephew serving as a Colonel in the United States Army.
I have been married and divorced 3 times and have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. I am currently single and not involved with anyone. I believe the circumstances are private but will become public. So I am willing to discuss them at that time. My being single is a non issue as we have had single and divorced presidents in the past. I believe central family is the best way and I regret my circumstance.
The United States Constitution has three requirements for the office of the President. A natural born Citizen of the United States. Reached the age of 35 years and been a resident within fourteen years.
There is no requirement for Education, Lawyer, Doctor, having governed or anything else. I am fully constitutionally qualified. The founding writers of the constitution were made up of all occupations. Farmers, inventors, statesmen, military and from many occupations were forced by a tyrannical elite class in England into forming a new nation. Now a new tyrannical elite class of so called educated lawyers, politicians and others are forcing the common people to act and take the founders ideal back.
I am NOT a politician. I have not held any public office and have not aspired to do so until now. I believe that the time has come for the common people to actively take the country back.
I am not a lawyer, doctor or formally educated after a high school. I have 47 years of varied experiences. Enlisted military service, small manufacturing business owner, manufacturing engineer, industrial sales, retail sales, unemployed on welfare, machine operator, insurance agent, home owner, taxpayer, and senior citizen on social security and Medicare. I have experienced being bankrupt, deep debt, and recovering from bypass surgery. There is not an area of life I have not experienced first hand and can relate to in those years. The saying “been there done that” applies and that experience along with common sense and the knowledge gained more than qualifies.
Leah Vukmir is a nurse, military mom, and conservative with a proven record of reform.
A daughter of Greek immigrants and lifelong Wisconsinite, Leah graduated from Brookfield East High School, received a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Marquette University and her Master’s degree from UW–Madison. Leah grew up in a family filled with many cousins and constant activity — a real-life big, fat Greek family. She quickly realized that if she wanted to be heard, she had to speak up and not back down.
Leah’s parents taught her the importance of a relentless work ethic. She worked her way through high school and college, from stocking at a sporting goods store, to announcing blue light specials at Kmart, to working overnight shifts in an emergency room while studying to be a nurse.
Leah raised her two children, Elena and Niko, in Wauwatosa where she lived for 30 years and is a member of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. Recently she returned to her hometown of Brookfield where she enjoys spending time with Sophie, a German Shepherd she and her son rescued.
Leah passed on those same convictions to her children, and now her son serves as a first lieutenant in the Army.
Leah first became politically active when her daughter was learning to read. As an involved parent, Leah asked her daughter’s kindergarten teacher a question that seemed like common sense: “Can you show me the research behind this reading program?” That question landed her in the principal’s office, and then the superintendent’s.
Next thing she knew, she was actively advocating to raise educational standards for students across Wisconsin and found herself elected to office – first in the state Assembly in the same seat once held by Governor Scott Walker, and now in the state Senate.
Early on, Leah was told by leadership in Madison that she would be a back bencher if she voted with her conservative convictions. They said that to the wrong person. Today Leah serves as the Senate assistant majority leader passing bold laws that will make Wisconsin a better place for our children and grandchildren.
Leah stood with conservatives across Wisconsin to enact some of the most sweeping, pro-job reforms ever enacted, including Governor Walker’s signature Act 10 legislation. In the face of death threats, Leah refused to back down and continues to be one of the leading voices to keep pushing Wisconsin in a more conservative direction.
As she’s traveled across Wisconsin, Leah has met with people from all walks of life who feel Senator Tammy Baldwin would rather stand with Democrats in Washington and obstruct important reforms than listen to our friends and neighbors in Wisconsin. We desperately need to change our representation in Washington.
Leah’s running for the U.S. Senate for her family and ours, for the people who feel ignored by Washington elites and fear that no one in Washington has their back.
Leah won’t give up until she accomplishes a goal. The U.S. Senate needs someone who speaks for us, someone who will bring the Wisconsin Way of working hard and never giving up to Washington. That’s why she’s running for the U.S. Senate – to bring about real conservative change for Wisconsin and for America.
I am running for United States Senate because I care about people. I care what happens to you, to your lives and your happiness. I care about this State and this country so much it hurts. I care about our financial future, transparency of our government and the social cohesion of our society. In a global and historical sense, I’m so proud and privileged to be an American. This is not something I take for granted.
Who am I? I’m a Wisconsinite. I speak your language.
I AM ONE OF YOU.
You know me. Look in the mirror. I’m a guy like you. I’m your brother or dad or grandpa, the guy you see at church or sitting across from you at the bar. I’m getting married to a gal like you or your mom or grandma. When I say I’m a Wisconsinite, when I say that the soul of the Wisconsinite flows through my blood and is in my bones you know exactly what I mean.
You get it, because you feel it too.
I’m the guy that turns around and high fives you after a routine first down at a Packer game. I’m the guy you used to shoot the shit with at deer registration stations. I’m the guy that sees a pin on your lapel or the words on your water bottle, stops you, sticks out my hand and thanks you for your service. I’m the guy that you see in the parking lot helping an elderly couple load their car. I’m the guy fighting like hell to give the little girl who always dreamed of her Disney prince showing up to sweep her off her feet at least a modern day, Midwestern version of that dream. I’m the guy that throws your drink on my tab at Friday Fish Fry because I feel bad the waitress had to muddle 4 Old Fashioneds and made you wait. I’m the guy you want across from you on the euchre table, not the side. I’m the guy that thinks your new gun is a beauty and thinks your patriotism is even more beautiful. I’m the guy that wants to restore regular order and cooperation in the Senate. I’m the guy that wants to set the tone for young men in our society. I’m the guy that can sit on a barstool and carry on a conversation with every single person in this State. I’m the guy that is willing to burn at the stake for your freedom.
I’m the man that is going to bring America back together again.
I have had a life full of diverse experiences and gained wonderful perspectives through my efforts, curiosity, hard work and a little luck along the way. I’ve seen the world from a lot of different viewpoints and looked into the eyes of people from all walks of life, different countries and locales. I intend to take the lessons learned from my experiences, education, perspectives and research with me to the United States Senate for the betterment of Wisconsin and the advancement of America.
I am a product of the two greatest parents in the world. Good ol’ Wisconsin people. Both parents are relentlessly caring and set a great example for how to be an honest, caring and respectful person and member of society. I am a product of generations of family members with a strong commitment to military service and public service at the Federal, State, County and City levels. I am a product of families from both the city and small town Wisconsin. I live and work in Madison and I hunt in Columbia county. I’m sure some good ol’ Wisconsin country folks are already grumbling that “Ahh, here’s another Madison guy,” but when they see me and meet me they’ll know, in my heart and in my soul, I am one of them. I’m a product of a generation where we still ran around the neighborhood until the street lights came on but also grew up right along with the internet. I’m old enough to gripe about the ‘way things used to be’ but also have my life integrated on my smartphone. I sit at an inter-sectional crossroads between the traditional past and the changing future. I am a product of the University of Wisconsin School of Business, earning degrees in Finance and International Business. I have been shaped by my experiences with other cultures. I packed my life up twice and moved to the other side of the world and lived with people from all over the planet. I’ve made my cultural mistakes but I’ve also learned how to effectively interact with people from other cultures and would be proud to be a part of our committee on Foreign Relations if allowed.
I’ve had a job or been a full time student since I graduated high school. I’ve been a salaried employee and an hourly one. I’ve worked alongside union employees and non-union. I worked 76 days in a row out in the hot sun at one point carrying mail for the United States Post Office to pay for college and have spent more hours of my life smelling like french fries than I want to talk about. When I graduated in 2009 my education wasn’t enough to land me a job or even an internship in the finance world. I was blessed to receive an opportunity to manage the kitchen at one of Wisconsin’s busiest restaurants. I learned valuable lessons about people, management, cost savings, small businesses and dedication. That experience put me in a position to get in the door at CUNA Mutual Group. I have served in underwriting roles and compliance at both the product and corporate level and now in a position in the treasury. I have had great exposure to negotiation, contract and deal creation, risk assessment and mitigation, insurance principles, managing a large portfolio of revenue, analytics and legal concerns regarding insurance and financial institutions.
Over the past few years I have immersed myself into study of statistics, which is the study of populations. I completed a graduate certificate in applied statistics because I didn’t appreciate politicians quoting misleading statistics and I wanted to improve my statistical literacy. I also have a vision for bringing more public polling and public referendums into our political arena now that life is so connected through the internet. I have studied many different populations, demographics, industries and attitudes in this country. I have studied Facebook like a social science and it has been fascinating, as well as disheartening. I have put more time into understanding trends in modern, human internet interaction than maybe anyone you know. The honesty, the anger, the loud voices, the silent and the silencers. This isn’t going in the right direction. We need to talk about this. Don’t worry, I will take care of it.
I put as much work into understanding the conscience of the conservative as I do the mindset of the liberal. Why? Because I intend to represent everyone. I intend to work with Democrats on solving problems. I think it is important to understand the content and messaging that people are receiving and how that is shaping their worldview. I can pick through the sources and identify the coded wording and bias intended to shove people right or left. Whichever flavor of kool-aid you’re drinking, it’s terrifying seeing the speed and magnification of old school political tactics being thrust into the minds of Americans. Many of our legislative failures are a function of this polarization, a lack of cooperation and clinging to historical squabbles. Time to move on and grow up. The future of our country depends on it.
Kevin Nicholson is a husband, father of three, businessman, and highly decorated combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Born and raised in Wisconsin, he and his family now live in Delafield.
As a Marine Corps officer, Kevin served combat tours in both Iraq (2007) and Afghanistan (2008-2009). He was awarded the Bronze Star for his leadership of a counter-improvised explosive device (IED) team in Afghanistan. Despite being far from home, Kevin tried to find a way to watch the Packers as often as possible.
After graduating from college – where he met his wife, Jessie – Kevin joined the Marines, and was commissioned as an officer in 2004. He served as a Combat Engineer aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
The day after his first child was born, President George W. Bush delivered an address to the nation, announcing the “troop surge” in Iraq – an event that impacted thousands of families like Kevin’s. Just weeks after his son’s birth, Kevin’s platoon left for pre-deployment training, and then deployment to Al Anbar province, Iraq. He then returned and served as a company commander stateside until his next deployment.
Kevin later volunteered for a deployment as part of a multi-force counter-IED team in Afghanistan, where he led a quick reaction force of Marines, soldiers, airmen, sailors, and civilian contractors in the fight against enemy IED cells.
After this deployment, his commanding officer cited him his as “the best counter-Improvised Explosive Device team leader in Afghanistan.”
Following his service in the military, Kevin learned there is perhaps no greater cultural chasm in the world than between the Marines in Afghanistan and the academics at Harvard. Kevin earned Masters degrees in Public Administration and Business Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Dartmouth Tuck School of Business.
Kevin’s graduate studies further solidified his view that America’s out of control debt intrinsically creates foreign policy dangers. As a Marine, he saw first-hand the destruction caused by radical Islamism in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Kevin believes that we won’t be able to continue to fight this threat — or any others — if our nation keeps borrowing its way to insolvency. A nearly $20 trillion national debt, compounding each day, is the greatest threat to our nation’s security.
Today, Kevin works as an adviser to companies, helping them to solve their toughest strategic and operational problems, while also helping them to grow and put more Americans to work.
Now Kevin is campaigning to represent Wisconsin in the United States Senate for the same reasons he joined the Marines while America was at war. Our nation’s financial, economic, and national security problems are large – and growing exponentially. Kevin and his family believe now is the time for a conservative outsider with real world experience to step up and provide solutions.
Kevin is not a politician, but the sum total of his experiences in the Marine Corps, in combat, and in business have made him a strong advocate for conservative principles. He looks forward to bringing his wide-ranging experience to bear in solving our nation’s toughest problems with common sense solutions.
I believe government should work for the people, not against them. I see the people’s disgust with the third-grade antics so prevalient in today’s political climate. I see the people’s mistrust with the political deceit, lying, and back-room deals which only result in higher taxes and monetary squandering. I see the barage of disinformation from news and social media which constantly attacks family values of hard-working Americans.
Quite frankly, I’m tired of it. As a man who grew up and works with you in the very trenches of everyday life, I am asking for your support to elect me as Senator.
I am the hard-working neighbor whom you can call on when in need. I am the God-fearing man who believes in strong family values. I am the law-abiding citizen who respects the Constitution and all its amendments. I am the man who supports law enforcement across the local, state, and national level.
I am your voice.
Republican Primary – 4th District Representative in Congress
No online presence found.
Meet Cindy Werner – a small business owner, Christian, mother, and Republican who has served her country and believes that hard work does pay off.
Cindy Werner grew up with 12 brothers and sisters and was raised by a single mom (her dad passed away when she was young). Werner’s mother worked two jobs to buy a home and get her family out of the housing projects. She taught her children the importance of giving back to others, often with the refrain that “to those whom much is given, much is expected in return.” Being raised by a strong, God-fearing woman led Werner to a life dedicated to helping people regardless of their circumstances.
Cindy Werner proudly served in the US Army where she learned the importance of working with a diverse population. This skillset still serves her today.
She knows what it takes to get hard work done. Through “Women Off Welfare,” Werner worked tirelessly to provide welfare recipients with access to training and meaningful careers. She has served in the healthcare, education and housing industries, always with a focus on improving the lives of those whom she has served.
Cindy Werner has worked with elected officials to bring about real welfare reform through programs that provide a hand up, not a hand out. She is a strong proponent of providing technical training to give people knowledge and skills that will lead to good paying jobs, reduced government dependence, and brighter futures for all.
Perhaps her most important “titles” are those of Christian and mother. Now a grandmother (and a “mom” to numerous others that refer to her as such through her mentor work), her life continues to grow. As a member of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, her walk with God continues to grow and her faith is continually deepened.
Today, Cindy Werner is asking for your support, asking that you join her in moving Congressional District 4 forward towards a brighter day. If you are tired of wanting and waiting for change, then join us! If you are tired of things not getting better in Congressional District 4 then join us! If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, then join us! Join us and together we will make Congressional District 4 a more promising and prominent place to live and work!