Scott L. Fitzgerald

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Scott Fitzgerald
Wisc Sen. Scott Fitzgerald.jpg
Majority Leader of the Wisconsin Senate
Assumed office
January 7, 2013
Preceded byMark F. Miller
In office
January 3, 2011 – March 17, 2012
Preceded byRuss Decker
Succeeded byMark F. Miller
Minority Leader of the Wisconsin Senate
In office
July 17, 2012 – January 7, 2013
Preceded byMark F. Miller
Succeeded byChris Larson
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 13th district
Assumed office
Preceded byBarbara Lorman
Personal details
Born (1963-11-16) November 16, 1963 (age 55)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Lisa Fitzgerald
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin–Oshkosh (BS)
WebsiteSenate website

Scott L. Fitzgerald (born November 16, 1963) is an American politician and one-time newspaper publisher. He is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 13th District since 1994.[1]

Early life, education and career[edit]

Fitzgerald was born in Chicago, but moved with his family to Hustisford, Wisconsin, at age 11. He graduated from Hustisford High School in 1981, and earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh in 1985. He joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1981 and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Armor Branch in 1985. He completed the Army Command and General Staff College and served in a number of assignments during his 27 years of service, including battalion commander. In 2009, he retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel. He worked for nearly a decade as a newspaper publisher. He purchased the Dodge County Independent News in Juneau, Wisconsin, in 1990, and sold it in 1996 to the Watertown Daily Times, where he remained as associate publisher for several years.[2]

Wisconsin Senate[edit]

In 1994, Fitzgerald was elected to the Wisconsin Senate, and he has been re-elected since 1998. He was elected by his Senate Republican colleagues as Senate Majority Leader for the 2011–2012 legislative session. In prior sessions, Fitzgerald has served as Minority Leader, Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Finance, and Chairman of the Senate Corrections Committee.[citation needed]

2011 Wisconsin protests[edit]

In 2011 there were public employee protests conducted in opposition to Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill. In January 2011, Fitzgerald said he wanted to meet with the unions before changing the laws, adding, "We're not going to walk through hell and go through that if the Governor doesn't offer that up."[3]

On February 8, 2011, Fitzgerald's father was appointed to head the state patrol by the Walker Administration.[4] Three days later, Governor Walker introduced his budget repair bill that limited collective bargaining from most municipal workers, which Fitzgerald, and all but one Republican in the State Senate, supported.[5]


In 2011, Wisconsin Republicans drew the state's legislative map with 99 Assembly and 32 Senate districts.[6] This map was later ruled as an "unconstitutional gerrymander" in 2016 by a three-judge panel.[6] In response, Fitzgerald and Wisconsin state Republicans hired attorney Paul Clement to fight this ruling before the Supreme Court.[7] As of 2016, the state has spent over $2 million to defend the legislative maps.[7]

Curbing the powers of an incoming Democratic administration[edit]

In the wake of the 2018 elections when Democratic candidates were elected to the offices of governor, attorney general and secretary of state in Wisconsin, Fitzgerald pushed for legislation to take powers away from the incoming Democratic administration. The legislation would also reduce the time allowed for early voting in Wisconsin election. A similar law that curbed early voting was struck down by courts in 2016, with the court ruling that the law "intentionally discriminates on the basis of race," and that it was "stifling votes for partisan gain."[8][9] The bill would also prevent the incoming Democratic administration to withdraw from a lawsuit seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) by taking the power to do so away from the governor and hand it to the Republican-led and gerrymandered Wisconsin legislature.[8] Fitzgerald described concern over the stripping of power as a "manufactured outrage by the Democrats".[10] Fitzgerald justified the attempt the powers of the incoming administration, saying "state legislators are the closest to those we represent" and suggesting that urban voters (who are more likely to vote for Democrats) do not reflect the real electorate.[11]

In 2010, Fitzgerald condemned an unsuccessful proposal by Wisconsin Democrats to pass legislation during a lame-duck session when Democrats were in power and a Republican governor was about to take office. Fitzgerald said about the unsuccessful proposal, "this is why people don't trust government."[12]


Fitzgerald's father, Stephen "Steve" Fitzgerald, was Sheriff of Dodge County, Wisconsin, for 14 years and served as the U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Wisconsin. He was later appointed head of the Wisconsin State Patrol by Walker.[13]

Fitzgerald's younger brother, Jeff, was an Assembly Representative from the 39th Assembly District, and was Assembly Speaker during the 2011–2012 legislative session.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Fitzgerald and his wife, Lisa, have three sons.[2]


  1. ^ Scott Fitzgerald, Wisconsin Historical Society
  2. ^ a b c "Biography". Scott Fitzgerald Wisconsin State Senator. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  3. ^ Bauer, Scott. "Senate leader says Walker's refinancing debt could balance budget". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  4. ^ "Steve Fitzgerald to Head Wisconsin State Patrol". WISN-TV. Retrieved 30 March 2012.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Highlights of Governor Walker's budget repair bill". Wisconsin State Journal. February 11, 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  6. ^ a b Tesfaye, Sophia. ""Unconstitutional gerrymander": Federal court strikes down Wisconsin's GOP-drawn redistricting". Salon. Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  7. ^ a b Press, SCOTT BAUER Associated. "Scott Fitzgerald promises limit to taxpayer cost in redistricting case". Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  8. ^ a b "GOP seeks to limit Wisconsin early voting, strip powers from Tony Evers and Josh Kaul in lame-duck session". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  9. ^ "Lawsuit looms over proposed limit to early voting in Wisconsin". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  10. ^ "Republicans in an about-face on governor's powers". @politifact. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  11. ^ Badger, Emily (2018-12-06). "Are Rural Voters the 'Real' Voters? Wisconsin Republicans Seem to Think So". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  12. ^ "Bice: Gov. Scott Walker decried lame-duck session and permanent political appointments in 2010". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 2018.
  13. ^ "Ingaleft". Retrieved 2011-03-13.

External links[edit]

Wisconsin State Senate
Preceded by
Barbara Lorman
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 13th district

Preceded by
Russ Decker
Majority Leader of the Wisconsin Senate
Succeeded by
Mark F. Miller
Preceded by
Mark F. Miller
Minority Leader of the Wisconsin Senate
Succeeded by
Chris Larson
Majority Leader of the Wisconsin Senate