Candidates for Supreme Court, School Board
Milwaukeeans will find at least three contested races on the ballot.
Unlike February’s primary that only impacted a small corner of the city, the spring non-partisan primary features a number of contested races across the entire city. Milwaukeeans will get to cast their votes for the candidates for a 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, a four-year term on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court and a number of Milwaukee Public Schools Board of Directors seats.
Not every Milwaukeean will have the same ballot. All ballots will feature the citywide MPS board seat, while only four of the city’s eight school board district seats are up for election in 2019. Not sure what MPS district you reside in? Use the state’s My Vote WI site to see your sample ballot.
Wisconsin Supreme Court
Judge Brian Hagedorn currently serves on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, the court one step below the Wisconsin Supreme Court. As an appellate judge, Judge Hagedorn ensures that what happens in our trial courts is consistent with the law. Judge Hagedorn was appointed to the bench in 2015 by Governor Scott Walker and won election to a new six-year term in April 2017.
In addition to deciding cases, Judge Hagedorn was appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to serve on the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, which oversees enforcement of the judicial code of ethics. He is also a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin Bench-Bar Committee. Judge Hagedorn is a regular speaker to school and legal groups on the rule of law, legal writing, and judicial philosophy, among other topics.
Prior to his judicial service, Judge Hagedorn served as Chief Legal Counsel to Governor Walker for almost five years. Judge Hagedorn’s key job responsibilities included managing litigation in partnership with the Attorney General, serving as the top ethics officer for the administration, advising on legal policy issues, overseeing judicial and district attorney appointments, and providing legal analysis on proposed legislation. In that capacity, Judge Hagedorn has been involved in some of the most significant and high profile litigation in Wisconsin history.
Judge Hagedorn has also served as an Assistant Attorney General at the Wisconsin Department of Justice, a law clerk for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, and as an attorney in private practice at a top Milwaukee law firm. He is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, where he was the President of the Federalist Society.
When not serving the people of Wisconsin, Judge Hagedorn enjoys serving in his church, reading, rooting for the Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers, and spending time with his family. Judge Hagedorn has been married for 17 years and has five children ages 15, 13, 10, 7, and 5.
With more than 30 years as a leader in the law, now serving as Chief Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, Judge Lisa Neubauer has the experience we need on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Judge Neubauer is running because she cares about making sure our high court is fair, impartial, independent, and upholds the rule of law. Now, more than ever, we need our courts to protect the rights of all Wisconsinites and the fundamental principles of our democracy.
Judge Neubauer has served on the Court of Appeals since 2008, and was re-elected in 2014. She was the Presiding Judge in her district of the Court of Appeals from 2009 through 2015. The Wisconsin Supreme Court appointed her to serve as the Chief Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in 2015, and reappointed her this year.
Judge Neubauer also has decades of experience as a Wisconsin litigation attorney prior to becoming a judge. She was a partner at Foley and Lardner LLP and chair of the firm’s Insurance Dispute Resolution Practice Group. She co-chaired the firm’s national recruiting committee. Judge Neubauer also served as a law clerk for Barbara Crabb, then-Chief Judge of the United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin.
A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School with honors, Judge Neubauer received her degree in 1987. She is a member of the Order of Coif. Judge Neubauer received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she majored in political science.
Judge Neubauer is on the Supreme Court Finance Committee and is co-chair of the Wisconsin Bar Association’s Bench and Bar Committee. She previously served on the Planning Subcommittee of the Planning and Policy Advisory Committee, the Judicial Conduct Advisory Committee, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court Committee on Community Outreach.
Judge Neubauer is a recipient of the Lynford Lardner Community Service Award in recognition of her volunteer work and civic involvement and a recipient of the Association for Women Lawyer’s Community Service Award. She also was named a Woman of Influence for her mentoring work by The Business Journal.
Judge Neubauer has served as a board member for the Racine Area United Way, ABCD, the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund, and Legal Action of Wisconsin. She has been a reading tutor in Racine public schools through the United Way Schools of Hope program, a big sister with Big Sisters of Greater Racine, and a mentor for breast cancer survivors through ABCD, After Breast Cancer Diagnosis.
Judge Neubauer lives in Racine with her husband, Jeff, and they are the proud parents of three children.
Milwaukee County Circuit Court
In his 24 years as an attorney, he practiced at every level of the federal and state judicial systems, from the federal and state trial courts in Wisconsin and New York, to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, to the Wisconsin and United States Supreme Courts. He tried numerous cases before juries, courts, administrative law judges, and arbitrators, and he argued many cases before the state and federal appellate courts.
In his practice, he advised public employees, elected officials, governmental entities, private companies, and individuals in a wide array of litigation disputes. Among other areas of the law, his cases involved constitutional, municipal, compliance, employment, labor, health care, land use, consumer, contractual, and class action issues.
He has served in numerous leadership positions, both within his prior law firms, where he was a member of the board of directors of both Husch Blackwell LLP (700+ attorneys; 19 offices) and Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. (140+ attorneys; 4 offices), and in the community, where he currently serves on the board of directors for the Milwaukee Bar Association Foundation and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.
He is a native of Milwaukee, having been raised in Shorewood by his parents, Bob, a retired educator at UWM, and Mary, a retired librarian for the federal courts in Milwaukee. His sister, Katie, and brother, Brant, are both public high school teachers.
He has been married to his wife, Amy, for 22 years, and they have two daughters, ages 15 and 14.
He assumed his seat on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court on September 10, 2018, succeeding now Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Dallet in Branch 40 of the Circuit Court.
Danielle Shelton is a candidate for Milwaukee County Circuit Court in Branch 40.
Danielle is a mom, a U.S. Army veteran, and an experienced litigator who formerly worked in finance. She has spent nearly two decades fighting to ensure justice for all people and is committed to being a fair judge who will help keep Milwaukee safe and strong.
Danielle raised two daughters in Shorewood, where she currently lives, and grew up primarily on the north side of Milwaukee. She attended public schools, earned a bachelor’s degree from UW-Milwaukee, and received her law degree from Marquette University Law School.
Danielle also served in the U.S. Army for six years, first as an enlisted PFC, and then becoming a commissioned officer through ROTC.
After college, Danielle earned her Series 7 and 63 licenses and worked in the financial industry for many years. Then she entered law school at Marquette University, where she worked in the Mediation Clinic with former Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske. After earning her J.D., Danielle moved to France with her two daughters for a year, where she worked to help immigrant women become situated in the community. Upon her return to the U.S., Danielle worked as a Senior Law attorney with Legal Action of Wisconsin. For more than a decade she’s worked as an Assistant State Public Defender, and has become a well-known, respected litigator.
When she’s not working, you can find Danielle looking for balance through yoga, volunteering in the community, or enjoying fresh coffee at one of Milwaukee’s local coffee shops.
School Board – Member at Large
Stefanie is the mother of three current MPS students who sees on a daily basis the tremendous impact that the teachers, leaders, and support staff of Milwaukee Public Schools have on children, as well as the weighty challenges facing schools and students throughout our city.
Since 2005, Stefanie has been an active part of the MPS community, as a volunteer, PTO chair, interview committee member, and involved parent.
With transferable professional skills to address complex topics with creative solutions and a collaborative problem-solving approach, Stefanie seeks to bring new energy and a relevant voice as a current MPS parent and a taxpayer to the Milwaukee Board of School Directors.
Bob Peterson taught fifth grade for nearly thirty years in MPS. As a high school student, community activist, classroom teacher and former President of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association Bob has fought tirelessly to defend and transform public schools in Milwaukee. He is running for the city-wide seat on the school board to use his experience, deep knowledge of the school system, and his leadership skills to help bring stakeholders together to ensure that all students in Milwaukee get the schools that they deserve.
School Board – District 1
My name is Shyla and I’m running for the Milwaukee Public School Board of Directors – District 1.
I have lived on the northwest side of Milwaukee for most of my life and currently reside in District 1. I attended Public Schools, including graduating from Vincent High School. From there, I attended University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and graduated with a undergraduate degree in Educational Policy and Community Studies and masters studies in Cultural Foundations of Education.
Currently, I am a board member for Next Door Foundation, a former member of the Early Education Task Force for the City of Milwaukee, a member of the State of Wisconsin’s Impact Partner Committee for Children’s Mental Health, Family Engagement and Trauma Recovery, and a Parent Advisory Council member for MPS to increase Montessori options in the District — all committees that are shaping the future for Milwaukee’s youth.
It’s time to take full control of our Public School System. We not only need quality, committed leaders crafting policies on the school board, but we also need parents and the community involved in the decision-making process. By working with teachers, parents and students I know that we can build a school system which helps to build the next generation of working Wisconsinites.
Longtime community and public education activist. I received an exceptional education in MPS, as did my children. I want the same for all children.
School Board – District 2
Wendell Harris was born in Arkansas, served in the Air Force, and worked for A.O. Smith for 30 years, where he was on the Executive Board of Smith Steelworkers, DALU 19806, AFL-CIO for eight years. He retired after the company was sold in 1998 and has since been involved in numerous community efforts to combat crime and drug abuse in the city of Milwaukee. Mr. Harris also serves as first Vice-Chair of the Wisconsin NAACP. He and his wife, Rozalia, reside in the Enderis Park Neighborhood of Milwaukee’s North-west Side.
After 31 years serving children in the classroom, I saw the great need for us to have learning environments that are appropriately funded, staffed and supported. Learning environments where students have the opportunity to participate in art, music and physical education and where teachers have time to teach and are supported with appropriate resources gives our children and the community at large a solid foundation for the future.
It is only by working together as a community that we can ensure the public schools our kids deserve. I will never stop fighting for strong, vibrant public schools in our community where all children have the support they need for emotional and physical wellness and academic success, the building blocks for a bright future
School Board – District 3
Catrina has a deep passion for youth initiatives. For nine years she dedicated her volunteer time to Girl Scouts of America being a Troop Leader and a hard working Cookie Mom. What started out as the girl scout leader of 20 five-year-old kindergarteners, morphed over the years and turned into a confident group of young women who became high school freshmen and very involved leaders. Her troop was the highest selling inner-city troop twice and her girls were called upon to mentor younger troops. Catrina has served on the Governance Board, PTO or parent volunteer for several Milwaukee Public Schools. She currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Urban Ecology Center of which she helps bring awareness to environmental education. Catrina has also served on the Washington High School Alumni Scholarship Foundation for over 15 years. The Foundation has awarded more than $600,000 to over 500 deserving graduating seniors seeking post-secondary opportunities. Catrina currently serves as the Chairperson of the Scholarship Committee overseeing the selection and allocation of annual scholarships. Catrina Crane also served as the Donations Chair where she worked diligently to secure contributions to endow funding of student scholarships. She understands that reaching the dream of post-secondary education (which comes in various forms) has been denied to many due to lack of funds and she stepped in to address that issue. Due to Milwaukee’s needs of building a strong pipeline of workers for in-demand industries Catrina has also been able to blend her career at MVP with her passion of helping youth by creating STEM programming that provides local youth the opportunity to explore careers by providing tours, mentoring and direct engagement with professionals. This past year she connected more than 350 youth to professionals in the Menomonee Valley. Catrina was honored by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority with the 2018 Woman of the Year Award honoring her for her commitment, leadership and service to the community.
Most importantly, Catrina is the proud mother of an academic scholar who is currently attending an MPS school.
Sequanna Taylor has a true passion for her community. With several years of experience working with her community in Milwaukee, she is elated to have been elected as the 2nd District County Supervisor and will take this opportunity to relentlessly work hard to get results.
Making changes in our neighborhoods started long before she came into official office. Having the chance now to be able to implement new ideas and solutions is very exciting. Understanding that together change will happen, one day at a time, enhancing our community is Sequanna’s number one priority.
Holding this seat is important to Supervisor Taylor because the city, county and their residents have always been important to her. Despite challenges that the board has faced related to time and salary, she believes that County Supervisors still have the ability to be change agents for the betterment of Milwaukee County families. She believes the County can continue to do great work and make effective changes in our community even in a transitional state. She knows it will take a lot of hard work but she is committed to the process.
Biography from Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors website
School Board – District 8
As a parent, educator and advocate in MPS, I have had a unique opportunity to experience our school system through the lenses of varying perspectives. As a parent, I know we need an opportunity to have a parent voice in how our schools operate. As a teacher, I know what our teachers need in the classroom. As an advocate I have seen what it takes to affect changes in our MPS and I know we need board members who will listen and act. I want to take these perspectives and reconcile them to be an effective board member for District 8.
As a working mother who is invested in seeing our Milwaukee Public Schools succeed, I want to bring forward solutions that empower parents and create an infrastructure where every student has the resources they need to succeed.
Political Contributions Tracker
Displaying political contributions between people mentioned in this story. Learn more.
- January 24, 2019 - Bob Peterson received $25 from Megan O’Halloran
- November 29, 2018 - Bob Peterson received $25 from Marva Herndon
- August 26, 2018 - Bob Peterson received $20 from Erika Siemsen
- August 26, 2018 - Bob Peterson received $20 from Megan O’Halloran