Doug La Follette
|Doug La Follette|
|28th and 30th Secretary of State of Wisconsin|
January 3, 1983
|Preceded by||Vel Phillips|
January 6, 1975 – January 3, 1979
|Preceded by||Robert Zimmerman|
|Succeeded by||Vel Phillips|
|Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 22nd district
|Preceded by||Joseph Lourigan|
|Succeeded by||John Maurer|
June 6, 1940 |
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
|Education||Marietta College (BS)
Stanford University (MS)
Columbia University (PhD)
Douglas J. "Doug" La Follette (born June 6, 1940) is an American academic, environmental activist, and politician from the state of Wisconsin. A Democrat, he is the current Secretary of State of Wisconsin. He ran in the 2012 Democratic primary during the special election to recall Governor Scott Walker.
Early life and career
La Follette was born in Des Moines, Iowa. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Marietta College, his Master of Science in chemistry from Stanford University, and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Columbia University. He began a teaching career as an assistant professor at University of Wisconsin–Parkside in Kenosha.
Known as an environmentalist before running for public office, he was a Wisconsin organizer of the first Earth Day for Gaylord Nelson in 1970 and co-founded Wisconsin's Environmental Decade (now known as Clean Wisconsin) with Peter Anderson.
His great-grandfather was an uncle of Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette. Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette's grandson, former Wisconsin Attorney General Bronson La Follette, has described Doug La Follette as a "second cousin, three times removed" from Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette. According to professor and author Nancy Unger, Doug would also be considered the 3rd cousin of Bronson. Doug went on to serve with Bronson from 1975 to 1979 and from 1983 to 1987.
La Follette first ran for office in the 1970 U.S. House of Representatives election, losing to Les Aspin in the Democratic primary for Wisconsin's 1st congressional district. La Follette served in the Wisconsin State Senate for Kenosha for one term.
La Follette was elected Secretary of State of Wisconsin in 1974. He unsuccessfully ran for Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin on a ticket with Governor Martin Schreiber in 1978. In 1982, he was again elected Secretary of State, defeating incumbent Vel Phillips. La Follette has been the Secretary of State of Wisconsin ever since.
He has run opposed and unopposed several times for Secretary of State and shuns fundraising in the style of former Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire. In 1990, his opponent, Madison attorney and radio personality Stuart Levitan, campaigned on a promise to eliminate the Secretary of State's office, whose duties have been reduced and transferred to other agencies, including the State Board of Elections, under La Follette's tenure.
Since being elected Secretary of State, La Follette has run twice for federal office. In 1988, he ran for the U.S. Senate, losing the primary to Herb Kohl. In 1996, he made another bid for the U.S. House of Representatives, losing in the Democratic primary for Wisconsin's 1st congressional district to Lydia Spottswood, who went on to lose the general election to Mark Neumann.
- La Follette is the author of the 1991 book The Survival Handbook: A Strategy for Saving Planet Earth.
- He has also served on the board of directors of Friends of the Earth and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
- In 2003 he ran for, and was elected to, the board of directors of the Sierra Club for a three-year term. He did not seek reelection in 2006.
- He was a Fulbright Distinguished American Scholar in 2003.
|Democratic||Doug La Follette||950,929||56.6%|
|Republican||Robert Gerald Lorge||693,476||41.3%|
|Constitution Party||Edward Frami||34,750||2.1%|
|Democratic||Doug La Follette||298,228||72.0%|
|Democratic||Doug La Follette||1,228,438||57.6%|
|Green Party||Michael LaForest||97,666||4.2%|
|Democratic||Doug La Follette||1,073,005||52.6%|
|Democratic||Doug La Follette||19,461||3|
|Democratic||Doug La Follette||1,159,836||50.0%|
- Office of the Wisconsin Secretary of State
- WisPolitics: Article on the 2006 Convention Straw Poll
- Clean Wisconsin
|Secretary of State of Wisconsin
|Secretary of State of Wisconsin