Brad Schimel

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Brad Schimel
Brad Schimel.jpg
Judge of the Waukesha County Circuit Court for Branch 6
Assumed office
January 2019
Preceded byPatrick Haughney
44th Attorney General of Wisconsin
In office
January 5, 2015 – January 7, 2019
GovernorScott Walker
Preceded byJ. B. Van Hollen
Succeeded byJosh Kaul
Waukesha County District Attorney
In office
January 2007 – January 2015
Preceded byPaul Bucher
Succeeded bySusan Opper
Personal details
Born (1965-02-18) February 18, 1965 (age 54)
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (BA)
University of Wisconsin–Madison (JD)

Brad Schimel (born February 18, 1965) is an American prosecutor who served as Wisconsin Attorney General from 2015 to 2019. The former District Attorney of Waukesha County, Wisconsin and a Republican, Schimel was elected Attorney General on November 4, 2014 and took office on January 5, 2015, succeeding fellow Republican J. B. Van Hollen. He ran for reelection in 2018 and was defeated by Democrat Josh Kaul, a former federal prosecutor. On November 20, 2018, Schimel was appointed by Scott Walker to be a Judge on the Waukesha County Circuit Court, replacing Patrick Haughney.[1] He took over in January 2019 and represents Branch 6.[2]


Schimel is a graduate of Mukwonago High School and holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (1987).[3] He earned his Juris Doctor at the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1990.[4]

He began his career as a prosecutor in 1990 when he joined the Waukesha County District Attorney's office. In, 2006 Schimel was elected Waukesha County District Attorney.

In 2011, Schimel was appointed to serve on the Wisconsin Judicial Council and the Wisconsin Crime Victim Council.[5]

He is a founding member of the Waukesha County Victim Impact Panel for intoxicated drivers and president of the Preventing Alcohol-Related Crashes (PARC) Task Force, 2004-11.

Schimel is an instructor in the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Department at Waukesha County Technical College and is a former adjunct instructor at Concordia University Wisconsin.[6]

Attorney General of Wisconsin[edit]

On October 7, 2013, Van Hollen announced he would not seek reelection in 2014 for a third term as state attorney general.[7] Van Hollen endorsed Schimel as his replacement.[8] In the 2014 general election, Schimel defeated opponent Susan Happ.[9]

As Wisconsin Attorney General, Schimel appealed the ruling by a federal judge in the Eastern District of Wisconsin that Brendan Dassey, one of the subjects of Making a Murderer, had been coerced into confessing to a murder as an intellectually disabled 16-year old.[10] Courts subsequently ruled either to free Dassey or block his release pending a new trial.[10] Schimel argued that the US Supreme Court should not hear Dassey's case; when the US Supreme Court declined hearing Dassey's case, Schimel said he was pleased.[11][12]

Electoral history[edit]

Waukesha District Attorney Republican Primary Election 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Brad Schimel 20,270 58
Republican Dennis Krueger 14,917 42
Waukesha District Attorney Election 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Brad Schimel 132,967 100
Waukesha District Attorney Election 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Brad Schimel (inc.) 168,330 100
Waukesha District Attorney Election 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Brad Schimel (inc.) 51,290 100
Waukesha District Attorney Election 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Brad Schimel (inc.) 158,479 100
Wisconsin Attorney General Election 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Brad Schimel 1,169,547 54
Democratic Susan Happ 983,390 46
Wisconsin Attorney General Election 2018
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Josh Kaul 1,304,579 49
Republican Brad Schimel 1,286,834 48


  1. ^ "Gov. Walker appoints Schimel to the Waukesha County Circuit Court". FOX WZAW. Associated Press. November 20, 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Brad Schimel". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Candidate Q&A: Attorney general". Daily Citizen. October 21, 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  5. ^ Wisconsin DOJ
  6. ^ "Waukesha County DA announces attorney general candidacy". Twin Cities Pioneer Press. October 14, 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  7. ^ Patrick Marley. "J. B. Van Hollen won't seek third term as attorney general". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel October 7, 2013.
  8. ^ Dee J. Hall. "Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen endorses GOP candidate Brad Schimel as replacement". Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Attorney General race: Republican Brad Schimel defeats Democratic challenger Susan Happ". 4 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Supreme Court Won't Hear Appeal of 'Making a Murderer' Subject Brendan Dassey". Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  11. ^ "The Latest: Attorney Vows to Keep Fighting for Dassey".
  12. ^ "Schimel: Supreme Court shouldn't review Dassey confession". WGBA. 2018-05-11. Retrieved 2018-10-24.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
J. B. Van Hollen
Attorney General of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Josh Kaul