Susan Engeleiter

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Susan Engeleiter
16th Administrator of the Small Business Administration
In office
May 1, 1989 – May 1, 1991
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by James Abdnor
Succeeded by Pat Saiki
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 33rd district
In office
April 1980 – January 1989
Preceded by Roger Murphy
Succeeded by Margaret Farrow
Personal details
Born (1952-03-18) March 18, 1952 (age 65)
Brookfield, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political party Republican
Children 3
Alma mater University of Wisconsin, Madison

Susan Shannon Engeleiter (born March 18, 1952) is an American Republican politician, lawyer, and businesswoman.

Early life[edit]

Born in Brookfield, Wisconsin, she graduated from Brookfield Central High School in 1970. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1974 and received a juris doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1981.

Political career[edit]

Engeleiter was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1974. At age 22, she was the youngest woman ever elected to the Wisconsin Legislature.[citation needed] She served in the Assembly until January 1979, having decided against running for re-election in 1978 and instead, sought the congressional seat being vacated by Bob Kasten, who decided to run for Wisconsin governor. Engeleiter lost the primary to then-State Senator Jim Sensenbrenner by 589 votes.[1] In April 1980, Engeleiter was elected in a special election to the Wisconsin State Senate. There she served as Assistant Minority Leader from 1982 to 1984, and as Minority Leader from 1984 to 1989.[2]

1988 U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

Engeleiter ran for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by William Proxmire in 1988. In the primary election, she defeated state GOP chairman Steve King. King had labeled Engeleiter a moderate, while touting his conservative credentials. Engeleiter faced Democrat Herb Kohl, former chairman of the state Democratic Party, in the November general election.

On November 2, 1988, as polls showed Engeleiter and Kohl running neck-to-neck, President Ronald Reagan visited Milwaukee to headline a campaign rally and fundraiser for Engeleiter.[3] Engeleiter lost the race to Kohl, by a 52% to 48% margin.

Business career[edit]

In January 1989, President George H.W. Bush nominated Engeleiter to be the Administrator of the Small Business Administration. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and served in that position until 1991, the first woman to hold the position.

After leaving the SBA, Engeleiter served as Vice-President of Government Affairs at Honeywell from 1992 to 1998. At Honeywell, she handled legislative and regulatory efforts in energy, environmental, and procurement areas. She represented Honeywell on several industry association boards and on United States government agency advisory boards.

Engeleiter has been President and COO of Data Recognition Corporation since 1998 and the company's CEO since December 11, 2006.[4]

Electoral history[edit]

Wisconsin U.S. Senate Election 1988
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Herb Kohl 1,128,625 52.08
Republican Susan Engeleiter 1,030,440 47.55
Wisconsin U.S. Senate Election 1988 - Republican Primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Susan Engeleiter 209,025 57.45
Republican Steve King 148,601 40.84
Wisconsin 9th Congressional District Election 1978 - Republican Primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jim Sensenbrenner 29,584 43.30
Republican Susan Engeleiter 28,995 42.44
Republican Robert C. Brunner 9,746 14.26

References[edit]

Wisconsin State Senate
Preceded by
Roger Murphy
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 33rd district

1980–1989
Succeeded by
Margaret Farrow
Party political offices
Preceded by
Scott McCallum
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
(Class 1)

1988
Succeeded by
Robert Welch
Political offices
Preceded by
James Abdnor
Administrator of the Small Business Administration
1989–1991
Succeeded by
Paul Cooksey
Acting