John Lehman (Wisconsin politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
John W. Lehman
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 21st district
In office
July 16, 2012 – January 5, 2015
Preceded by Van Wanggaard
Succeeded by Van Wanggaard
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Cathy Stepp
Succeeded by Van Wanggaard
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 62nd district
In office
Personal details
Born (1945-08-02) August 2, 1945 (age 73)
Rhinelander, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Catherine A. Lehman
Residence Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.

John W. Lehman (born August 2, 1945) is an American educator and politician from Racine, Wisconsin. Lehman represented the 21st District in the Wisconsin Senate from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2012 to 2015, and was the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin in 2014. Previously, Lehman was a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1997 through 2005.[1] Elected as a state senator in 2006 but unseated in 2010, Lehman retook his old seat in the 2012 Wisconsin recall elections, defeating the incumbent Republican, Van Wanggaard.


Born in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, Lehman graduated from Washington Park High School in Racine, Wisconsin. He received his bachelor's degree from Luther College and his master's degree from Carthage College. He also went to the University of Wisconsin–Madison and University of Wisconsin–Parkside. He taught history and economics in high school.[2]

Political career[edit]

On January 31, 2012, Lehman announced he would run against Wanggaard in what then was "looking like" a probable recall election. He stated "we need a change in course in this state and we need it now" before a gathering of about 20 supporters at the Racine Public Library, where he made the announcement. He added that "we need real leadership in Madison."[3] Volunteers and workers gathered more than 24,000 signatures to recall Wanggaard, one of four state Senators facing a recall along with the Republican Governor Scott Walker and the Republican Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch.[4]

Lehman claimed he was "not seeking payback" against Wanggaard for the 2010 election, but that Wanggaard has not represented Racine County well in the Senate. The Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) stated that the Democrats "could not have done better" because "they" (meaning Lehman, state Rep. Donna Seidel, who would run against current Senator Pam Galloway in the Wausau district, and former state Rep. Kristen Dexter against Senator Terry Moulton in the Chippewa Falls district) "are folks that people have voted for before."[5] On June 6, 2012, Lehman led narrowly in the recall election with all votes counted, giving Democrats a brief one vote majority in the Wisconsin State Senate.

On November 18, 2013, Lehman announced that he would not seek re-election, and instead launched a campaign for Lieutenant Governor in the 2014 general election.[6] On August 12, 2014, he won the Democratic nomination for that post, with 144,485 votes to 116,399 for Mary Jo Walters.

Electoral history[edit]

Wisconsin 21st District Senate recall Election 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John Lehman 36,255 [7] 50.54%
Republican Van Wanggaard (incumbent) 35,476 [8] 49.46%
Wisconsin 21st District Senate Election 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Van Wanggaard 32,031 52.55
Democratic John Lehman (incumbent) 28,922 47.45
Wisconsin 21st District Senate Election 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John Lehman 31,736 53.07
Republican Bill McReynolds 28,069 46.93


  1. ^ State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2009-2010 (biographical sketch of John Lehman), pg. 60
  2. ^ Wisconsin Blue Book 2009-2010 (biographical sketch of John Lehman), pg. 60
  3. ^ Lehman vs. Wanggaard
  4. ^ Lehman vs Wanggaard, ibid.
  5. ^ Huffington Post coverage of Terry Moulton recall effort
  6. ^ Lehman to run for Lt. Governor
  7. ^ "Lehman beats Wanggaard; power shifts in Senate", ibid.
  8. ^ "Lehman beats Wanggaard; power shifts in Senate"

External links[edit]