Leah Vukmir

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Leah Vukmir
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 5th district
Assumed office
Preceded by Jim Sullivan
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 14th district
In office
Preceded by Scott Walker
Succeeded by Dale Kooyenga
Personal details
Born (1958-04-26) April 26, 1958 (age 58)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Political party Republican
Residence Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Alma mater Marquette University
Profession Registered Nurse
Website Official website

Leah Vukmir (born April 26, 1958) is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 5th District since 2011. She previously served in the Wisconsin Assembly, representing the 14th District from 2002 through 2011.[1]

Early life, education and career[edit]

Vukmir received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Marquette University in 1980, and a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983 where she specialized in child development and primary care treatment of children. She is a registered nurse and nationally certified pediatric nurse practitioner with over 25 years of nursing and teaching experience at St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.[2]

Wisconsin legislature[edit]

Vukmir was first elected in November 2002, succeeding Scott Walker (R), who was elected in a special election as Milwaukee County Executive. She was the ranking member of the Assembly’s Committee on Health and Health Care Reform. She was also a member of the committees on Public Health, Education Reform, Education and Criminal Justice.[3]

Vukmir announced on June 25, 2009 that she was challenging incumbent Democratic State Senator Jim Sullivan for the 5th district seat in 2010.[4] The race attracted large amounts of out-of-state campaign contributions, and only 14% of Vukmir's donors were residents of Wauwautosa.[5] On November 2, 2010, Vukmir defeated Sullivan for reelection.[6] She was succeeded in her Assembly seat by fellow Republican Dale Kooyenga.

Vukmir opposes medical marijuana and has said that there is no medical reason to use it.[7] At a public hearing in 2009, she was booed after accusing fellow legislators Jon Erpenbach and Mark Pocan of using dying cancer patients to further a secret agenda of legalization.[8]

As of 2015, Vukmir was on the Board of Directors of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC),[9] a conservative group that has been described by news outlets as giving corporate interests outsized influence in the state legislative process.[10][11] In June 2013, the Center for Media and Democracy sued Vukmir, contending she had violated Wisconsin's open records law by not turning over records related to her involvement with ALEC. Vukmir responded by claiming she could not be sued while in office.[12] The suit was settled in 2014, with the state of Wisconsin agreeing to pay $15,000 and Vukmir turning over e-mails from her personal Yahoo! account that she said she had withheld due to "technical issues".[13]

Electoral history[edit]

Wisconsin 5th Senate District Election 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Leah Vukmir 36,852 52.15
Democratic Jim Sullivan (incumbent) 33,702 47.69


  1. ^ 'The State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2009-2010, biographical sketch of Leah Vukmir, pg. 29
  2. ^ Official website
  3. ^ Vukmir's legislative profile
  4. ^ Wispolitics Vukmir Announces Run
  5. ^ Maley, Mark (August 25, 2010). "Vukmir, Sullivan getting cash from everywhere". Wauwautosa Now. 
  6. ^ http://www.wisn.com/r/25616834/detail.html
  7. ^ "Sides square off in state Legislature over medical marijuana". Winona Daily News. December 15, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Wisconsin politician accuses medical marijuana supporters of secret agenda". Duluth News Tribune. December 15, 2009. 
  9. ^ Board of Directors - ALEC |accessdate=January 30, 2015
  10. ^ Greeley, Brendan (May 3, 2012). "ALEC's Secrets Revealed; Corporations Flee". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  11. ^ McIntire, Mike (April 21, 2012). "Conservative Nonprofit Acts as a Stealth Business Lobbyist". The New York Times. 
  12. ^ Marley, Patrick; Jason Stein (September 12, 2013). "Sen. Leah Vukmir tries to sidestep open records suit". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  13. ^ Stein, Jason (March 28, 2014). "State to pay $15,000 in settlement of suit against Vukmir". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

External links[edit]

Wisconsin State Senate
Preceded by
Jim Sullivan
Wisconsin State Senator - 5th District
Wisconsin State Assembly
Preceded by
Scott Kevin Walker
Wisconsin State Assemblywoman - 14th District
Succeeded by
Dale P. Kooyenga