John Lehman (Wisconsin politician)

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John W. Lehman
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 21st district
In office
July 16, 2012 – January 5, 2015
Preceded byVan Wanggaard
Succeeded byVan Wanggaard
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byCathy Stepp
Succeeded byVan Wanggaard
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 62nd district
In office
January 1997 – January 3, 2007
Preceded byKimberly Plache
Succeeded byCory Mason
Member of the Racine City Council
In office
1988–2000
Personal details
Born (1945-08-02) August 2, 1945 (age 73)
Rhinelander, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Catherine A. Lehman
ResidenceRacine, Wisconsin, U.S.
Alma materLuther College
Carthage College

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 2007.[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, Van Wanggaard.

Background[edit]

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 at Washington Park High School.[2]

Political career[edit]

Lehman was elected to the Racine City Council in 1988. In 1996 he ran for and won election in the 62nd assembly district in a vacancy created when incumbent Kimberly Plache defeated 21st district state senator George Petak in a recall election. Lehman gave up his City Council seat in 2000. In 2006 the 21st state senate district was again an open seat, Lehman ran and defeated Republican Bill McReynolds. Lehman lost his senate seat in the 2010 wave election.[3][4]

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."[5] 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.[6]

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 F. 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."[7] On June 6, 2012, Lehman narrowly defeated Wangaard, 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 Wisconsin gubernatorial election.[8] On August 12, 2014, he won the Democratic nomination, defeating Mary Jo Walters. Lehman and his running-mate, gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, lost the general election to incumbents Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch.

In 2018, Lehman announced that he would run for election again for the open seat in the 62nd Assembly District, which had been redrawn in 2011 into a safe Republican district.[9] Lehman was defeated by Racine Unified School Board President Robert Wittke in the 2018 general election.[10]

Electoral history[edit]

Wisconsin 62nd District Assembly Election 2018
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Robert Wittke 16,035 54.87% -45.13%
Democratic John Lehman 13,161 45.04%
Total votes 29,223 100.0%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Gubernatorial Election 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Scott Walker / Rebecca Kleefisch (incumbent) 1,259,031 52.26% -0.82%
Democratic Mary Burke / John Lehman 1,122,913 46.59% +0.31%
Independent Robert Burke / Joseph M. Brost 18,720 0.78%
Independent Dennis Fehr 7,530 0.31%
Write-ins 1,445 0.06%
Total votes 2,410,314 100.0%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Primary Election 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John Lehman 144,591 55.24%
Democratic Mary Jo Walters 116,518 44.52%
Total votes 261,740 100.0%
Wisconsin 21st District Senate recall Election 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John Lehman 36,255 [11] 50.54% +3.09%
Republican Van Wanggaard (incumbent) 35,476 [12] 49.46% -3.09%
Total votes 71,924 100.0%
Democratic gain from Republican
Wisconsin 21st District Senate Election 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Van Wanggaard 32,031 52.55% +5.62%
Democratic John Lehman (incumbent) 28,922 47.45% -5.62%
Total votes 60,995 100.0%
Republican gain from Democratic
Wisconsin 21st District Senate Election 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John Lehman 31,736 53.07% +3.93%
Republican Bill McReynolds 28,069 46.93% -3.75%
Total votes 59,844 100.0%
Democratic gain from Republican
Wisconsin 62nd District Assembly Election 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John Lehman (Incumbent) 19,282 89.55% +4.78%
Libertarian Keith Deschler 2,195 10.19% -4.84%
Democratic hold
Wisconsin 62nd District Assembly Election 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John Lehman (Incumbent) 10,974 84.77% -1.03%
Libertarian Keith Deschler 1,945 15.03%
Democratic hold
Wisconsin 62nd District Assembly Election 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John Lehman (Incumbent) 16,180 85.80% +26.90%
Constitution Mark Duncan 2,658 14.09%
Democratic hold
Wisconsin 62nd District Assembly Election 1998
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John Lehman (Incumbent) 9,771 58.90% +5.42%
Republican Joseph S. Clementi 6,818 41.10% -0.61%
Democratic hold
Wisconsin 62nd District Assembly Election 1996
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John Lehman 10,765 53.48%
Republican Joseph S. Clementi 8,395 41.71%
U.S. Taxpayers Thomas Casper 512 2.54%
Libertarian Jim Sewell 457 2.27%
Democratic hold

References[edit]

  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. ^ "The race for state Senate: Lehman vs. Wanggaard". Racine Journal Times. 2010-10-11. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  4. ^ Mike Moore (2010-11-02). "STATE SENATE: Lehman concedes to Wanggaard as Senate falls to GOP control". Racine Journal Times. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  5. ^ Lehman vs. Wanggaard
  6. ^ Lehman vs Wanggaard, ibid.
  7. ^ Huffington Post coverage of Terry Moulton recall effort
  8. ^ Lehman to run for Lt. Governor
  9. ^ Stephanie Jones (2018-05-08). "John Lehman to run for state Assembly". Racine Journal Times. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  10. ^ "Wittke elected in District 62; incumbents returned in other legislative races". Racine Journal Times. 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  11. ^ "Lehman beats Wanggaard; power shifts in Senate", ibid.
  12. ^ "Lehman beats Wanggaard; power shifts in Senate"

External links[edit]