Glenn Grothman

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Glenn Grothman
Glenn Grothman official congressional photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 6th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byTom Petri
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 20th district
In office
Preceded byMary Panzer
Succeeded byDuey Stroebel
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 58th district
In office
Preceded byMary Panzer[1]
Succeeded byPatricia Strachota
Personal details
Born (1955-07-03) July 3, 1955 (age 65)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison (BA, JD)

Glenn S. Grothman /ˈɡrθmən/ (born July 3, 1955) from Glenbeulah, Wisconsin[2] is the Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin's 6th congressional district. He was first elected to represent that district in November 2014.

Grothman served in the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing the 58th Assembly District from 1993 until 2005, served as the vice chair of the Assembly's Republican caucus from 1999 to 2004, and as a member of the Wisconsin Senate from the 20th district from 2005–15, and Assistant Majority Leader of the Wisconsin Senate from 2011-15.

Early life and education[edit]

Grothman graduated from Homestead High School in Mequon in 1973. In 1978, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor of business administration degree.[3] He received his J.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1983, was admitted to the bar, and became an attorney with a firm in West Bend, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin legislature[edit]


Grothman was elected to the Wisconsin 58th Assembly District in a special election held in December 1993, and was re-elected five times, from November 1994 through November 2002. From 1999 to 2004, he was the Assembly Majority Caucus Vice Chairperson.

In 2004, Grothman ran for the state senate seat in the 20th district, challenging State Senate Majority Leader Mary Panzer in the Republican primary. The district included the city of West Bend, other parts of Washington County, and parts of Fond du Lac, Dodge, Sheboygan, and Ozaukee counties.

Grothman ran well to Panzer's right.[4] He won the nomination in a rout, taking 79 percent of the vote to Panzer's 21 percent.[5] He was unopposed in the general election in the heavily Republican district.[6] Grothman was re-elected in 2008 and 2012.


From 2007-08, Rothman was the Senate Minority Caucus Chairperson. He became the assistant Republican leader in 2009, serving as assistant minority leader from 2009–10, and as assistant majority leader from 2011 through January 2015.[3]

Grothman was a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

2011 Wisconsin budget protests[edit]

Grothman was a vocal proponent of SB11, a controversial bill proposed by Governor Scott Walker in early 2011. He said he supported the so-called budget repair bill because it was fiscally responsible. In a press interview, he said that he did not "find it impressive" that over 70,000 protesters marched on the capitol.[7]

During the protests, Grothman was cornered by almost 200 pro-union protesters yelling "Shame! Shame!" outside the state capitol building. Grothman said he was not concerned about violence at the time, adding that, "They're loud, they'll give you the finger, and they yell at you, but I really think deep down inside they're just mostly college kids having fun, just like they're having fun sleeping with their girlfriends on air mattresses. That's the guts of that crowd." He also described the protesters as "a different breed of person" and "a bunch of slobs taking up the building."[8][9]

During this time, Grothman also advocated the hiring of more business-friendly individuals to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. In doing so, he went out of his way to single out one of the University of Wisconsin campuses as a target: "Maybe you (should) look to hire those people who know what the real world is like, rather than a recent graduate from UW-Stevens Point who doesn't know what the real world is like." This was only days before appearing at UW–Stevens Point with the Joint Finance Committee for a day of hearings on Walker's budget bill.[10]

Grothman was subject to a recall effort in the spring of 2011, but the effort failed, collecting only 75% of the required signatures.[11] During the recall, Grothman supporters gathered hundreds of signatures for a giant "Thank You" card for Grothman.[citation needed]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



On April 3, 2014, Grothman announced he would run in that year's Republican primary for Wisconsin's 6th congressional district against 17-term incumbent Tom Petri. He positioned himself well to Petri's right; in his campaign announcement he called Petri a "decent, genial person" who lacked the "sense of urgency" to put more curbs on "a federal government that seems to be out of control."[12] Grothman did not have to give up his state senate seat to run for Congress; Wisconsin state senators serve staggered four-year terms, and he was not up for reelection until 2016. Petri announced shortly after Grothman entered the race that he wouldn't run for reelection.

Grothman's longtime home in West Bend was located in the 5th District, represented by Republican Jim Sensenbrenner. However, his state senate district included much of the southeastern portion of the 6th congressional district. In the summer of 2014, Grothman moved to Campellsport, a suburb of Fond du Lac, which is located in the 6th District.[13]

In the general election, Grothman defeated the Democratic nominee, Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris, getting 57 percent of the vote to Harris' 41%.


In November 2016, Grothman won re-election against a challenge from Democratic nominee Sarah Llyod getting 57% of votes to Lloyd's 37%.


In November 2018, Grothman won re-election against a challenge from Democratic nominee Dan Kohl, getting 55.5% of votes to Kohl's 44.5%.[14]

Committee assignments[edit]

Political positions[edit]

The Washington Post has described Grothman as "a shambling, strident conservative with a Trumpian tell-it-like-it-is streak who typically votes with the House GOP leadership".[16]

4-year-old kindergarten[edit]

Grothman said the state's kindergarten program for 4-year-olds should be defunded by Governor Scott Walker, saying that any academic benefits disappear by the fourth grade. Politifact rated this as 'False', and wrote that "Some studies reached that conclusion. But Grothman is citing one small portion of a much broader debate and declaring the whole matter settled when there is considerable evidence on the other side."[17]

Concealed carry[edit]

An advocate of Second Amendment rights, Grothman is a long-time supporter of concealed carry legislation, but does not advocate allowing concealed weapons in taverns. He believes concealed carry laws will deter criminal behavior, with permits being given to law-abiding citizens who pass a gun safety course.[18]

Grothman co-introduced 2011 SB 93, which was signed into law by Walker[19] This bill made Wisconsin the 49th state to legalize concealed carry.[20]

Equal pay[edit]

Speaking in support of Walker's decision to repeal the Wisconsin Equal Pay Act, Grothman said that the alleged pay differential is explainable: "Once you break it down by married and unmarried, the differential disappears."[21] However, a study by the American Association of University Women in 2007 found that life choices and family circumstances explain only a portion of the difference in pay between genders. Grothman rejected that study, further claiming, "You could argue that money is more important for men. I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious. To attribute everything to a so-called bias in the workplace is just not true."[21]


Grothman opposed a provision in a 2010 sex education law that prohibited teachers from promoting bias based on sexual orientation, saying that he did not believe the topic should be discussed at all in the public schools. According to the Capitol Times, Grothman's opposition was based on the belief that instructors who lead these talks would have what he called an "agenda" to persuade students to become gay.[22] He postulated that "Part of that agenda which is left unsaid is that some of those who throw it out as an option would like it if more kids became homosexuals."[22]

Grothman said that he was concerned about what God might think of the United States after Secretary of State John Kerry announced plans in April 2014 to send scientists to Uganda in response to a new law against homosexuality; Grothman described Kerry's plans a way "to say how wonderful the homosexual lifestyle is."[23] Grothman said Republicans, conservatives, and church leaders were not confronting the issue of homosexuality and were "losing the issue". He said, "We had such a great country in the relatively recent past. Now America, supposed to be the light of the world, instead we're the light going in the opposite direction."[23][24]


In 2011, Grothman released a statement opposing a Kwanzaa holiday, stating that we should "treat Kwanzaa with the contempt it deserves before it becomes a permanent part of our culture."[25]

Grothman said in a December 2012 press release that Kwanzaa is not a real holiday. He said, "Of course, almost no black people today care about Kwanzaa—just white left-wingers who try to shove this down black people's throats in an effort to divide Americans."[26][27]

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day[edit]

Grothman has argued that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day should not be a state employee holiday, calling the holiday "an insult to all the other taxpayers around the state." He has expressed doubts that "state workers would be 'checking out DVDs or reading books' about King and would probably just be out shopping or watching television instead."[28]

Municipal water chlorination[edit]

Grothman was a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 19 (2011), which removes the requirement of mandatory chlorination of groundwater in municipal water systems.[29][30] The bill was supported by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.[31]

Raw milk[edit]

Grothman is a vocal supporter of decriminalizing raw milk sales.[32][33]


In February 2012, Grothman introduced Senate Bill 507, which would amend Wisconsin statutes to emphasize non-marital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.[34] Politifact investigated his claim that kids living with a parent and parent's partner are "20 times" more likely to be sexually abused, and rated it True.[35]

He also sponsored State Bill 202, which would have repealed the Equal Pay Enforcement Act, saying that the "Left and the social welfare establishment want children born out of wedlock because they are far more likely to be dependent on the government."[36]


Grothman opposed a bill that would increase funding for anti-smoking programs from $10 to $30 million[citation needed]. He said that anti-smoking campaigns do not work, and are no longer necessary, writing, "Everybody knows you're not supposed to smoke!"[37] He also voted against the ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and other small business that became effective in July 2010.[38][39][40] After the bill was passed, he introduced new legislation to allow lodging establishments, such as hotels, to designate certain rooms as smoking rooms; the bill did not pass.[41]. He also co-sponsored a bill to exempt electronic cigarettes from the smoking ban.[42]

Welfare reform[edit]

In June 2013, Grothman proposed changing the welfare system in Wisconsin, to require that nondisabled single adults to either work twenty hours per week, or attend twenty hours of job training per week to continue receiving FoodShare benefits.[43]

Public image[edit]

In October 2016, Grothman was featured in the "People Who Somehow Got Elected" segment on HBO's program Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. The segment made reference to Grothman's controversial comments about women and race during his time as an elected official.[44]

On July 11, 2020, Grothman achieved social-media notoriety by coughing uncontrollably while speaking at the Wisconsin Republican Party convention.[45]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Pro Life Wisconsin, Legislator of the Year, 2010, 1995
  • Wisconsin Right to Life, Pro-Life Hero Award, 1996
  • Wisconsin Right to Life, Sanctity of Life Award 2004
  • Wisconsin Guild of Midwives, Legislator of the Year 2006
  • Milwaukee County Republican Party Assembly, Tax Cutter of the Year, 2002
  • Eagle Forum, Leadership Award 2007
  • Independent Business Association, Legislator of the Year 2000
  • National Federation of Independent Businesses, Guardian of Small Business Award 1999–2000, 2005–06
  • Wisconsin Builders Association, Friend of Housing Award 2001–07
  • Wisconsin Builders Association, Legislator of the Year 2005
  • Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Working for Wisconsin Award 1998–2006
  • Wisconsin Grocers Association, Friend of Grocers Award 1997–2004;
  • Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Friend of Agriculture Award 1995–2007
  • Wisconsin Dairy Business Association, Milk Bottle Award 2006, 2004
  • Wisconsin Counties Association, Outstanding Legislator Award 1997–98

Personal life[edit]

Grothman lives in Glenbeulah, Wisconsin.[46]

Electoral history[edit]

Wisconsin State Senate District 20 Election 2004[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Glenn Grothman 75,424 99.15%
Scattering 649 .85%
Wisconsin State Senate District 20 Election 2008[47]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Glenn Grothman 69,942 80.26%
Independent Clyde Winter 17,113 19.64%
Scattering 91 .10%
Wisconsin State Senate District 20 Election 2012[48]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Glenn Grothman 66,882 68.63%
Democratic Tanya Lohr 30,504 31.30%
Scattering 74 .10%
Republican primary results[49]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Glenn Grothman 23,247 36.16
Republican Joe Leibham 23,028 35.82
Republican Duey Stroebel 15,873 24.69
Republican Tom Denow 2,117 3.29
No party Scattering 30 0.05
Total votes 64,295 100
Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District, 2014[50]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Glenn Grothman 169,767 56.77
Democratic Mark Harris 122,212 40.87
Write-In Gus Fahrendorf 6,865 2.30
No party Scattering 189 0.06
Total votes 299,033 100
Republican hold
Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District, 2016[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Glenn Grothman 204,707 57.15
Democratic Sarah Lloyd 133,072 37.26
Independent Gus Fahrendorf 19,716 5.52
No party Scattering 248 0.07
Total votes 357,183 100
Republican hold
Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District, 2018[52]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Glenn Grothman 180,311 55.47
Democratic Dan Kohl 144,536 44.46
No party Scattering 218 0.07
Total votes 325,065 100
Republican hold


  1. ^ "The Daily Tribune from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin on December 8, 1993 · Page 24".
  2. ^ Congressman Glenn Grothman - About | Facebook Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  3. ^ a b "Glenn Grothman, Bio". Wisconsin State Legislature. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
  4. ^ Masse, Ryan (2004-09-17). "Grothman makes rare defeat". Retrieved 2016-12-10.
  5. ^ "Wayback Machine". August 10, 2011. Archived from the original on August 10, 2011. Cite uses generic title (help)
  6. ^ a b "Fall General Election – 11/02/2004; State Senate, District No. 20". Wisconsin State Elections Board. December 1, 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 10, 2011. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
  7. ^ "State Senate Stalemate Continues Sen. Grothman: Protests Not Impressive". Channel 3000 WISC Madison. WISC Madison. 2011-02-21. Archived from the original on 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
  8. ^ Condon, Stephanie (2011-03-02). "GOP Wisconsin lawmaker chased down by protesters". Political Hotsheet. CBS News. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
  9. ^ "Protesters Confront Wisconsin State Senator". NBC News Video, The Last Word. 2011-03-02. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
  10. ^ "Grothman urges DNR to hire older workers" JSOnline – All Politics Blog, April 4, 2011; retrieved April 11, 2011.
  11. ^ Bill Schanen IV, "Aggressive effort to recall Grothman falls short", Ozaukee Press, May 4, 2011.
  12. ^ Terkel, Amanda. Glenn Grothman, Ultra-Conservative Wisconsin Lawmaker, Will Run For Congress. Huffington Post, April 3, 2014.
  13. ^ Nomination Paper Tracking Report for 2014 election from Wisconsin Government Accountability Board
  14. ^ "Rep. Glenn Grothman wins Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District seat". 2018-11-19. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  15. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  16. ^ DeBonis, Mike (2018-01-26). "Forget Senate negotiators — House conservatives could have the last word on immigration". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-01-27.
  17. ^ "Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman says recent research shows that the benefits of 4-year-old kindergarten don't last (False)". PolitiFact Wisconsin. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 2011-01-16. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
  18. ^ Grothman, Glenn. "A Good Idea" (PDF). Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  19. ^ "2011 SB 93". Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  20. ^ Gardner, Brent (June 24, 2011). "Wisconsin to Become 49th State to Allow Right-to-Carry". NRA News. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  21. ^ a b Goldberg, Michelle. "Wisconsin's Repeal of Equal Pay Rights Adds to Battles for Women". The Daily Beast. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  22. ^ a b Shawn Doherty (2010-02-11). "Vital Signs: Grothman suggests "don't ask don't tell" for state schools". The Capital Times. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
  23. ^ a b Elbow, Steven (April 30, 2014). "Glenn Grothman blasts U.S. moves against draconian Ugandan homosexuality law". The Cap Times. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  24. ^ Lachman, Samantha (April 29, 1014). "Glenn Grothman: John Kerry Upset God By Trying To Stop Ugandan Anti-LGBT Bill". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  25. ^ Representative Glenn Grothman. "What is Kwanzaa?" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  26. ^ Grothman, Glenn. "Press Release" (PDF). Wheeler Report. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-24. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  27. ^ McCoy, Adam W. (2012-12-31). "State Sen. Glenn Grothman Declares War on Kwanzaa". Patch Media. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  28. ^ Mary Spicuzza (2011-01-18). "State senator says public employees should work on MLK Day". The Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
  29. ^ "Wisconsin Legislature Data". Wisconsin Legislature website. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
  30. ^ "2011-2012 Wisconsin Legislature Senate Bill 19". State of Wisconsin. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  31. ^ Witynski, Curt. "Repealing Mandatory Disinfection" (PDF). League of Wisconsin Municipalities. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  32. ^ "Why I Support Raw Milk" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  33. ^ Kinzel, Mike (December 10, 2013). "Senator Grothman continues push for raw milk sales". WHBL. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  34. ^ "SB507: Bill Text". Wisconsin Legislature. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  35. ^ Kertscher, Tom (March 25, 2012). "GOP Wisconsin state senator says study shows kids living with parent and parent's partner "20 times" more likely to be sexually abused". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  36. ^ Alphonse, Lylah M. (March 2, 2012). "Wisconsin Bill Claims Single Moms Cause Child Abuse by Not Being Married". Yahoo! Shine.
  37. ^ Jackie Johnson (2007-09-06). "Grothman: More funding for anti-smoking efforts is absurd". Wisconsin Radio Network. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
  38. ^ "Assembly, Senate pass indoor smoking ban". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
  39. ^ "2009 Wisconsin Act 12". Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  40. ^ "Wisconsin State Senate Journal for May 13, 2009". Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  41. ^ "2009 Senate Bill 225". Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  42. ^ "2011 Senate Bill 389". Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  43. ^ Grothman, Glenn. "Grothman Stands with Governor Walker on FoodShare Reform". Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  44. ^ Elbow, Steven (October 24, 2016). "John Oliver takes aim at Glen Grothman". The Capital Times. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  45. ^ Redsten, Genevieve (2020-07-12). "Twitter reacts to congressman Glenn Grothman's coughing fit during Wisconsin GOP convention speech". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2020-07-12.
  46. ^ Biography | U.S. Representative Glenn Grothman Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  47. ^ "Fall General Election – 11/04/2008; State Senate, District No. 20". Wisconsin State Elections Board. November 24, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 20, 2011. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
  48. ^ "Fall General Election – 11/06/2012; State Senate, District No. 20" (PDF). Wisconsin State Elections Board. November 26, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  49. ^ "Official Election Results" (PDF). G.A.B. Canvass Reporting System. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  50. ^ "Wisconsin Statewide Results General Election - Official Results". Wisconsin Secretary of State. November 4, 2014. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  51. ^ "Wisconsin Statewide Results General Election - Official Results". Wisconsin Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  52. ^ "Wisconsin Statewide Results General Election - County by County Report" (PDF). Wisconsin Elections Commission. November 5, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2019.

External links[edit]

Wisconsin State Senate
Preceded by
Mary Panzer
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 20th district

Succeeded by
Duey Stroebel
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom Petri
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 6th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Garret Graves
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jody Hice