Joel Kleefisch

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Joel Kleefisch
Joel Kleefisch.jpg
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 38th district
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 7, 2019
Preceded bySteven Foti[1]
Succeeded byBarbara Dittrich
Second Gentleman of Wisconsin
In role
January 3, 2011 – January 7, 2019
GovernorScott Walker
Preceded byCal Lawton
Succeeded byVacant
Personal details
Born (1971-06-08) June 8, 1971 (age 48)
Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Rebecca Reed
ResidenceOconomowoc, Wisconsin
Alma materPepperdine University

Joel M. Kleefisch (born June 8, 1971) is an American politician and a former television reporter. He served fourteen years in the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing parts of Waukesha, Jefferson, and eastern Dane counties.[2] His wife, Rebecca Kleefisch, is the former Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin.


Born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Kleefisch graduated from Waukesha North High School in 1989. He attended Pepperdine University and received a B.A. in 1993.[3]

Kleefisch worked as a news researcher for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles during the summer of 1992. Upon graduation from Pepperdine he worked as a reporter for WREX-TV in Rockford, Illinois from 1993 to 1994.[4] Kleefisch then was hired by WISN-TV as an assignment desk person and part-time reporter in 1994 before becoming a full-time general assignment reporter, where he worked until entering politics. As a reporter at WISN-TV, he appeared on CNN to discuss the trial of Mark Chmura.[5] He won an award for "Best investigative report or series" from the Milwaukee Press Club in 1999 for a piece about date rape drugs.[6] Rebecca was also a reporter and anchor for WISN and the two would marry in 1999 shortly after she moved to that station from Rockford, Illinois.[7] The couple now have two children.

Kleefisch was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2004, and was re-elected in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016.[4] He represented Oconomowoc and surrounding areas of western Waukesha County, northern Jefferson County, and eastern Dane County. In 2009 he co-sponsored legislation to increase the penalties in Wisconsin for driving under the influence.[8]

Kleefisch did not seek re-election in 2018 and left office at the end of the 2018 session.[9]


  1. ^ [1] Archived November 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ 'The State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2009-2010. Biographical sketch of Joel Kleefisch, p. 45
  3. ^ "Joel Kleefisch, Currently Elected State Representative District 38, Wisconsin". Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Assembly Member Joel Kleefisch - Biography - Project Vote Smart". Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  5. ^ "CNN Transcript - Burden of Proof: Mark Chmura On Trial: Former Pro Football Player Accused of Sexually Assaulting 17-Year-Old Babysitter - February 2, 2001". 2 February 2001. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Contest & Honors presented by The Milwaukee Press Club". Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ "Wisconsin Legislature: Kleefisch, Rep. Joel M.(38th A.Dist.; Rep.)". Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  9. ^ Beck, Molly (April 17, 2018). "Joel Kleefisch latest Republican lawmaker to not seek re-election". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved June 13, 2019.

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