In November of next year, Wisconsinites will go the ballot box to vote for the office of Governor.
Several candidates have already declared their intent to run, most of them members of the Democratic Party. Governor Scott Walker faces one challenger to his nomination. By summer 2018, both of the major political parties will have landed on a nominee for the gubernatorial election for the following November.
Below is a profile of all candidates who have officially thrown their name in the ring for their party’s gubernatorial nomination.
After spending the past year making clear his intent to run for reelection, Scott Walker officially confirmed his candidacy at the Wisconsin Republican Party Convention May 13, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Walker, who has been elected and reelected to his current office three times since his first election in 2010, will stay in office until 2023 if he wins next year. This would make Walker, whose current term ends in 2019, one of the longest serving governors in Wisconsin history, according to MJS.
Ryan Cason is the only Republican running against Scott Walker in the upcoming Republican primary for the Governorship.
Cason fashions himself to be more of a true conservative than Walker, who he believes has too easily submitted to recent rulings by the Supreme Court, according to Cason’s campaign website.
“Unlike the incumbent, Ryan Cason knows that the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges rulings are opinions, not laws,” Cason said in a statement on his website. “He also knows it is the responsibility of the executive office to end abortion and homosexual ‘marriage.’”
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State Representative Dana Wachs announced his candidacy for governor Aug. 7, according to his campaign website. At the time of his announcement, Wachs was the most prominent Democrat to have launched a campaign against Governor Walker.
His announcement came roughly five years after his first election to the General Assembly, where he represents Eau Claire.
“I’m running for governor because I love Wisconsin, and we deserve a government – and a governor – that matches the optimism and values of our great state,” Wachs stated on his website. “Right now, the system is rigged against too many families. I want to level the playing field, so we focus on improving the lives of everyone, not just the wealthy few.”
Tony Evers was reelected this year to continue in his role as the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, where he oversees public education curriculum throughout the state.
Now in his eighth year serving as superintendent, Evers is the only Democratic candidate for governor who currently serves in a statewide office, Evers said in a statement.
“I’m running for governor because I’ve always believed that what’s best for kids is what’s best for our community,” Evers said in the statement. “We need real change here in Wisconsin. We must invest in our schools, grow the economy, and rebuild the middle class.”
Andy Gronik is founder and Chief Executive Officer of GroBiz, a consulting firm in Milwaukee. While he lacks any political experience, Gronik has been a business leader in the Milwaukee area for decades.
Gronik said in a statement that there needs to be a “different kind” of leadership in Madison.
“I’m not a politician. I’m a business leader with the progressive values necessary to beat Governor Scott Walker and make living in Wisconsin better for all of our residents — that’s why I’m running for governor,” Gronik said.
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Bob Harlow was the first Democrat to announce his plans to run for the Democratic nomination and challenge Walker for the Governorship, Harlow said in statement. At only 25 years old, Harlow is the youngest contender in the election.
In 2016, Harlow ran in the Democratic Party primary for California’s 18th Congressional district, but lost to incumbent Congresswoman Anna Eshoo.
“Government is meant to be about a group of people coming together to achieve a better standard of living than we could on our own,” Harlow said the statement. “The people of Wisconsin want a living wage, healthcare, college education for our kids, and good roads and infrastructure. There is no excuse for coming up short.”
Mike McCabe is the most recent candidate to announce his decision to run for Governor, having declared his candidacy Tuesday, according to MJS.
McCabe is the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a government reform organization that advocates for fair elections and political transparency. While McCabe is politically independent, he will be running for the Democratic nomination.
“Now is not the time for same old, same old,” McCabe said, according to MJS. “I’m running to shake up and transform the political system and get our government working for all of us and not just the wealthy and well-connected.”
Michele Doolan, the only female candidate who has officially declared in the entire gubernatorial race, is a small business owner from Madison.
Additionally, she serves as a member of Dane Buy Local, the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation and as President of the Park Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization.
“I’m done pretending nothing’s wrong with the way things are. It’s time for us to roll up our sleeves, step up and participate in our democracy,” Doolan said in a statement.
While several Democratic gubernatorial candidates have declared their intention to run, several more have not yet officially declared their candidacy but have filed necessary paperwork to do so.
These candidates include former State Representative Brett Hulsey, 2012 gubernatorial candidate and State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, Sheboygan businessman Kurt Kober and photographer Ramona Whiteaker.
The primaries for both parties will take place on August 14 of next year, followed by the general election Nov. 8.