The who’s-who of the 2014 Gubernatorial Election

By Derek Woellner —

This Nov. 4, students will find four pairs of names to choose from on their gubernatorial ballot. The pair they choose will help determine the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin for the next four years. This who’s-who focuses on each candidate’s political experience, career and education, in addition to giving brief glimpse of their political views.

Democratic Party

Running for Governor: Mary Burke was Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce from 2005 to 2007. She left the office early to give more time to her family and non-profit work, and became a member of the School Board of Madison in 2012.

Burke worked at the Trek Bicycle Corporation, a company founded by her father, as the head of European operations and then as the director of strategic planning. She received a degree in finance from Georgetown University and a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School.

Burke has said we have to bring down the cost of tuition and increase financial aid. She is focused on creating new jobs in Wisconsin and raising the minimum wage. Burke has also stated that she would sign legislation allowing gay marriage.

Running for Lieutenant Governor: John Lehman is currently a member of the Wisconsin Senate from the 21st district. Lehman originally assumed office in 2007 but lost in 2010.  However, during the 2012 recall election he won his seat back.  Lehman also served as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from the 62nd district from 1996 to 2004.

Before going into politics, Lehman was a high school history and economics teacher in Racine, Wis. He received his bachelor’s degree from Luther College and his master’s from Carthage College.

Like his running mate, Lehman also believes we should increase the minimum wage and also supports gay marriage.

Republican Party

Running for Governor: Scott Walker is the current governor of Wisconsin. He was the Milwaukee County Executive from 2002-2010 and a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from the 14th district from 1993-2002. In 2012, Walker became the first U.S. governor ever to survive a recall election.

After attending Marquette University for four years, Walker dropped out for a position at the American Red Cross in marketing and fundraising.  He worked for IBM selling warranties part-time in college, which led to his position at the Red Cross.

Walker has said that he will freeze college tuition for another two years if elected. He has worked to bring more jobs to Wisconsin and believes he has laid the foundation for future job growth. He is opposed to gay marriage.

Running for Lieutenant Governor: Rebecca Kleefisch is the current lieutenant governor of Wisconsin. Prior to this she had no political background.

Kleefisch graduated from University of Wisconsin–Madison and had a career as a reporter.  She worked for WIFR-TV in Rockford, Ill. and later WISN-TV in Milwaukee, Wis. where she became a morning news anchor.

Kleefisch’s views match that of her running mate. She is opposed to gay marriage and its possible outcomes questioning, “At what point are we going to okay marrying inanimate objects?”

Libertarian Party

Running for Governor: Robert Burke is the chairman and a recent founder of the Libertarian Party of Pierce-St. Croix.

Burke served as a crew chief on B-52s in the Air Force before pursuing a career in health care. He went back to college and received a degree in marketing communications from University of Wisconsin–River Falls.

Burke wants to cut government spending in many areas. He supports legalization of hemp and marijuana and is pro-choice but would cut all government funding for abortion clinics.

Running for Lieutenant Governor: Joseph Brost has been working with his running mate on their campaign.

Brost has kept his career and education information private and hasn’t made any statements to the public regarding his political views other than that he is Libertarian.

People’s Party

Running for Governor: Dennis Fehr has no political background.

Fehr runs his own painting company and is a volunteer firefighter. He attended University of Wisconsin–Stout seeking a degree in business management and manufacturing engineering, but did not graduate.

Fehr’s political ambitions are to reform the tax code and the judicial system. He also wishes to lower the drinking age and legalize marijuana.

There will be no People’s Party candidate for the role of Lieutenant Governor.

Questions on voting? Visit uwstout.edu/vote

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