Mark Neumann

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Mark Neumann
Mark Neumann.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 1999
Preceded byPeter Barca
Succeeded byPaul Ryan
Personal details
Mark William Neumann

(1954-02-27) February 27, 1954 (age 65)
East Troy, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Sue Neumann
ChildrenTricia, Andrew, Matthew
ResidenceNashotah, Wisconsin, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin-Whitewater
OccupationHome builder

Mark William Neumann (born February 27, 1954) is an American businessman and politician. He represented Wisconsin's 1st congressional district from 1995 to 1999. In 2010, Neumann lost a bid to become the Republican nominee for Governor of Wisconsin. Neumann was a candidate for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin to succeed Herb Kohl who was retiring.[2] He came in third place during the 2012 Republican primary election on August 14, 2012.

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Neumann was born in East Troy, Wisconsin, one of five siblings. His parents were Stella and Kurt Neumann. His father was an electrical engineer for General Motors and his mother was an executive assistant. Neumann graduated from East Troy High School in 1972. After high school, he briefly attended General Motors Institute (now Kettering University).[3] In 1973, Neumann married Sue Link, his high school sweetheart, whom he met in Sunday school in the 4th grade. That same year, Neumann enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he graduated with honors in 1975, earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. After graduating from Whitewater, Neumann moved to River Falls, Wisconsin, where he taught mathematics at River Falls High School while attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, earning a Masters of Science in Supervision and Instructional Leadership. Neumann did additional post-graduate work at the University of Wisconsin.[4]

After college, Neumann relocated to Milton, Wisconsin, where he began his career teaching Mathematics at Milton High School and Milton College, before the campus closed in 1982.[5][6] Neumann is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.[1] He started his first company in 1986 in his basement, building homes in the Milton and Janesville, WI areas. By 1991, Neumann's company was listed as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



Neumann decided to run for the House of Representatives as a Republican in 1992. He faced Congressman Les Aspin and lost 58% to 41%, while spending $700,000.

U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin 1st District Election, 1992[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election
Democratic Les Aspin (incumbent) 32,815 62.24%
Republican Mark W. Neumann 16,547 31.38%
Republican Kenneth Elmer 3,364 6.38%
Total votes 52,726 100.0%
General Election
Democratic Les Aspin (incumbent) 147,495 57.56%
Republican Mark W. Neumann 104,352 40.72%
Independent John Graf 4,391 1.71%
Total votes 256,238 100.0%
Democratic hold
1993 special election

Shortly after defeating Neumann, Aspin was appointed U.S. Secretary of Defense by President Bill Clinton in 1993.[8] Just months after being defeated by over 17%, Neumann entered the special election to fill the seat vacated by Aspin. Neumann lost narrowly to his opponent, Peter Barca by only 675 votes; 49.3% to Barca's 49.9%.[9]

U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin 1st District Special Election, 1993[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election
Democratic Peter W. Barca 31,073 31.03%
Republican Mark W. Neumann 28,115 28.08%
Democratic Jeffrey A. Neubauer 21,610 21.58%
Democratic Wayne W. Wood 8,254 8.24%
Republican Charles W. Coleman 7,567 7.56%
Democratic Jeffrey C. Thomas 1,814 1.81%
Democratic Samuel Platts 1,094 1.09%
Libertarian Edward J. Kozak 613 0.61%
Total votes 100,140 100.0%
General Election
Democratic Peter W. Barca 55,605 49.90%
Republican Mark W. Neumann 54,930 49.29%
Libertarian Edward J. Kozak 375 0.34%
Independent Gary W. Thompson 327 0.34%
Independent Karl Huebner 203 0.34%
Total votes 111,440 100.0%
Democratic hold

After losing in both 1992 and 1993, Neumann once again entered the race for Wisconsin’s First Congressional District. After losing to Peter Barca by 675 votes in the previous year, Neumann defeated Barca by 1,120 votes, becoming the first Republican to hold that seat since 1971. Neumann's victory was one of 52 Republican pick-up seats during the Republican Revolution.

U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin 1st District Election, 1994[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
General Election
Republican Mark W. Neumann 83,937 49.42%
Democratic Peter W. Barca (incumbent) 82,817 48.76%
Libertarian Edward J. Kozak 3,085 1.82%
Total votes 169,839 100.0%
Republican gain from Democratic

Neumann won re-election by 4,260 votes in a close 1996 race against Lydia Spottswood.

U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin 1st District Election, 1996[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
General Election
Republican Mark W. Neumann (incumbent) 118,408 50.92%
Democratic Lydia Spottswood 114,148 49.08%
Total votes 232,556 100.0%
Republican hold


Neumann was sworn into the 104th United States Congress on January 3, 1995, when the Republican Party gained control of both houses for the first time since the 1950s. Neumann was assigned to the Appropriations committee, being the only freshman appointed to the committee that year. While on the committee, Neumann wrote his own version of the budget, which would produce a balanced budget by 1999. Neumann voted present in the election for Speaker of the House in 1997, instead of voting for Newt Gingrich.[12]

In September 1995, Neumann introduced an amendment requiring congressional approval of troop deployment to Bosnia which failed to pass. Then, on September 29, he voted to defeat the $243 billion military appropriation, along with other freshman Members, because it did not contain his amendment.[13] As punishment for his vote, Bob Livingston removed him from the committee.[13] This was brief, and Neumann was eventually reassigned to the committee.[14]

Neumann has been critical of LGBT rights in the past. In 1996, he commented to the New York Times that "if I was elected God for a day, homosexuality wouldn't be permitted, but nobody's electing me God".[15][16]

Committee assignments[edit]

Congressman Neumann served on the following committees and subcommittees:[17]

1998 U.S. Senate election[edit]

In September 1997, Neumann announced his candidacy for the United States Senate against Russell Feingold. Both candidates had similar views on the budget surplus, although Neumann was for banning partial-birth abortion while Feingold was against a ban. Both candidates limited themselves to $3.8 million in campaign spending ($1 for every citizen of Wisconsin), although outside groups spent more than $2 million on Neumann; Feingold refused to have outside groups spend on his behalf.[18][19] Feingold defeated Neumann by a 3% margin in the election, 51% - 48%. Neumann had a 68,000-vote deficit in Milwaukee County.[20]

Wisconsin U.S. Senatorial Election, 1998[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
General Election
Democratic Russ Feingold (incumbent) 890,059 50.55%
Republican Mark W. Neumann 852,272 48.40%
Taxpayers Robert R. Raymond 7,942 0.45%
Libertarian Tom Ender 5,591 0.32%
Independent Eugene A. Hem 4,266 0.24%
Write-ins 706 0.04%
Total votes 1,760,836 100.0%
Democratic hold

Post-congressional career[edit]

Neumann stayed out of the 2004 Senate campaign, instead supporting former Lt. Governor Margaret Farrow, who did not run. Despite speculation that Neumann might run against Senator Herb Kohl or Governor Jim Doyle, he did not choose to seek elective office during the 2006 election cycle. He had considered a run for Governor, but did not enter the race in deference to Scott Walker, who withdrew in favor of former Congressman Mark Green.[citation needed]

2010 gubernatorial election[edit]

Neumann told the Wisconsin State Journal on April 23, 2009 that he intended to run for governor in 2010,[22] and on July 1, 2009, Neumann officially declared his candidacy.[23] In 2010 Neumann stated his opposition to same-sex marriage, and claimed that he wanted to focus on jobs and economic development.[24] Neumann was defeated 59% to 39% in the September 14, 2010 primary by opponent Scott Walker. Walker was ultimately elected Governor in the general election.

Wisconsin Gubernatorial Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election[25]
Republican Scott Walker 362,913 58.65%
Republican Mark W. Neumann 239,022 38.62%
Republican Scott S. Paterick 16,646 2.69%
Write-ins 321 0.14%
Total votes 618,828 100.0%

2012 U.S. Senate election[edit]

In August 2011, Neumann announced his candidacy for the Senate seat of retiring senator Herb Kohl.[26] On October 6, 2011, it was announced that he had raised $300,000 during the first month of the campaign.[27] After receiving endorsements from conservative groups such as the Club for Growth and Americans For Prosperity, Neumann split the Tea Party vote with millionaire businessman Eric Hovde. Neumann came in third place, taking 23% of the vote.

Wisconsin U.S. Senatorial Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election[28]
Republican Tommy Thompson 197,928 33.99%
Republican Eric Hovde 179,557 30.83%
Republican Mark W. Neumann 132,786 22.28%
Republican Jeff Fitzgerald 71,871 12.34%
Write-ins 244 0.04%
Total votes 582,386 100.0%


  1. ^ a b "Congressman confesses Christian convictions". Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. January 1995. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  2. ^ Republican Neumann announces Senate run Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine WBAY-TV August 29, 2011. Accessed August 29, 2011
  3. ^ "Candidate Profile from Congressional Quarterly". Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  4. ^ "Congressional Biography of Mark Neumann". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  5. ^ "Milton College Preservation Society". Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  6. ^ a b "biography at official website". Archived from the original on September 22, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-20.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  7. ^ a b Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". State of Wisconsin 1993-1994 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 897, 899, 916, 918. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  8. ^ "Les Aspin Congressional Biography". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  9. ^ Gonzales, Nathan L.; Kurtz, Josh (March 31, 2009). "Off-Year Specials Often Provide No Tea Leaves". Roll Call. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  10. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". State of Wisconsin 1995-1996 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 897, 916. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  11. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". State of Wisconsin 1997-1998 Blue Book (PDF) (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 878, 881. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b Carney, Timothy (2011-04-03) GOP anti-appropriators break up the spending party Archived 2011-04-05 at the Wayback Machine, Washington Examiner
  14. ^ Gray, Jerry (October 21, 1995). "Freshman Challenge G.O.P. Elders". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  15. ^ Bice, Daniel (May 9, 2010). "Neumann avoids giving a straight answer on gay issues". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  16. ^ Goldberg, Jeffrey (November 3, 1996). "Adventures of a Republican Revolutionary". The New York Times.
  17. ^ "Wisconsin Blue Book" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  18. ^ "Online NewsHour: Political Wrap: Feingold vs. Neumann". PBS. October 30, 1998. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  19. ^ "INFOBEAT> News – Morning Coffee Edition". November 4, 1998. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  20. ^ "GOP edges into Democratic region". Archived from the original on August 15, 2003. Retrieved 2005-02-04.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. August 3, 2003.
  21. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". State of Wisconsin 1999-2000 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 897, 899, 916, 918. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  22. ^ "Neumann To Run". Archived from the original on April 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-24.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Wisconsin State Journal. April 24, 2009.
  23. ^ Steve Schultze, "Neumann to make GOP gubernatorial bid official." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, June 30, 2009.
  24. ^ Catanese, David (August 30, 2011). "Neumann: Gay lifestyle "unacceptable"". Politico. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  25. ^ FINAL Sept. 14, 2010 Fall Partisan Primary Results Summary (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. 2010-09-04. p. 1. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  26. ^ Walker, Don (August 29, 2011). "Neumann says he'll run for Kohl's U.S. Senate seat". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  27. ^ "DC Wrap: Neumann raises $300,000 in one month". WisPolitics. October 6, 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  28. ^ Canvass Results for 2012 Partisan Primary (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. 2012-08-14. p. 1. Retrieved 2019-04-06.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Peter W. Barca
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Paul Ryan