William Kasik

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William Kasik
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 19th district
In office
Succeeded by Jerris Leonard
Personal details
Born June 13, 1920
Died March 1986
Political party Republican
Alma mater University School of Milwaukee
Profession Insurance Agent

William R. Kasik (June 13, 1920 – March 1986[1]) was a Wisconsin businessman and insurance agent who served one term as a Republican member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from the 19th Milwaukee County district.[2]


Kasik was born in Milwaukee on June 13, 1920, and attended Milwaukee Country Day School and Milwaukee University School. He served in the United States Army during World War II, in 1942 and 1943. He was serving as vice-president of English Woolen Mills when he was elected to the Assembly.[3]

Legislative service[edit]

In 1954, Kasik was nominated to the Assembly from the 19th Milwaukee County district, which included the Town of Milwaukee (but not the City of Milwaukee itself), Bayside, Fox Point, Glendale, Granville, River Hills, Shorewood, and Whitefish Bay. Prior to redistricting, most of the district had been represented by fellow Republican Arthur R. Godar.[4] He was nominated with only a plurality of votes in the Republican primary (2982 votes, to 2679 for Ervin Schneeberger and 613 for Henry Gefke); but had less trouble in the general election, defeating Democrat Stanley Lieberman by 15,685 to 6778. He was assigned to the standing committees on insurance and banking, and on taxation; and to a special committee on Urban Development (which was studying issues of annexation of particular concern to his suburban district).[5] He was one of the sponsors of an unsuccessful bill for a statewide referendum in favor of a right-to-work law.[6]

In 1956, Kasik (described as a "conservative Republican") served as an Eisenhower delegate to the 1956 Republican National Convention.[7] He ran for the Republican nomination for the 4th Wisconsin State Senate district, losing narrowly (8803 to 8903) to eventual winner Kirby Hendee in a three-way primary race[8] in which he carried the rest of the district, but lost by a hefty margin in Hendee's home village of Shorewood.[9] Kasik was succeeded by fellow Republican Jerris Leonard.

After the Assembly[edit]

At a 1957 Milwaukee County Republican meeting, Kasik referred to the state's United States senators Alexander Wiley and Joe McCarthy (themselves both Republicans) as "the senior [and] the junior windbags from Wisconsin".[10]

In 1964, Kasik (now living in Mequon and working as an insurance agent[11]) was one of three challengers to incumbent Assemblyman (and Assistant Majority Leader) J. Curtis McKay of Ozaukee County (a Goldwater supporter[12]) in the Republican primary, coming in second with 1495 to McKay's 2317; McKay went on to win re-election in the general election,[13] although the Goldwater candidacy was generally considered a disaster for the Republican Party statewide.[14]

In 1979, Kasik was again a candidate for a Republican assembly nomination, but his candidacy was clouded by allegations that he had borrowed excessively from his mother's estate;[15] he came in a distant third, with less than one-fourth the votes of eventual victor Betty Jo Nelsen.[16]


  1. ^ United States Social Security Death Index
  2. ^ Cannon, A. Peter, ed. Members of the Wisconsin Legislature: 1848 – 1999. State of Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau Informational Bulletin 99-1, September 1999; p. 69
  3. ^ Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L., eds. The Wisconsin blue book, 1956 Madison: State of Wisconsin, 1956; p. 56
  4. ^ Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L., eds. The Wisconsin blue book, 1954 Madison: State of Wisconsin, 1954; p. 55
  5. ^ Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L., eds. The Wisconsin blue book, 1956 Madison: State of Wisconsin, 1956; pp. 713, 753, 288-89, 300
  6. ^ UPI. "Right-to-work Bill's Backers Try New Tack" Dubuque Telegraph-Herald September 30, 1955; p. 10, col. 5
  7. ^ Bechtel, William R. "Didn't Read Platform They Voted to Adopt; Wisconsin Delegates Voice No Worry Over Omission of Some of Their Pet Issues" Milwaukee Journal August 22, 1956; p. 6, col. 1
  8. ^ Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L., eds. The Wisconsin blue book, 1958 Madison: State of Wisconsin, 1958; pp. 631, 671
  9. ^ Getter, Doyle K. "Hendee Win Is Feature in a State Senate Race" Milwaukee Journal September 12, 1956; p. 15, col. 1
  10. ^ "Vote Against Chiding Ike; County GOP Acts" Milwaukee Journal April 11, 1957; p. 28, col. 3
  11. ^ "Kasik Will Run For Assembly" Milwaukee Sentinel May 22, 1964; pt. 2, p. 1, col. 8
  12. ^ "73 Named to State Goldwater Group" Milwaukee Sentinel January 17, 1964; p. 5, col. 7-8
  13. ^ Teobald, H. Rupert, ed. The Wisconsin blue book, 1966 Madison, 1966; p. 745, 59
  14. ^ Epstein, Leon D. and Austin Ranney. "Who Voted for Goldwater: The Wisconsin Case" Political Science Quarterly Vol. 81, No. 1 (Mar., 1966), pp. 82-94
  15. ^ Pfarrer, Donald. "Candidate's Role in Estate Clouded" Milwaukee Journal June 5, 1979; pt. 2, pp. 1, 6
  16. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Robbins, Patricia V., eds. The state of Wisconsin 1981-1982 blue book Madison: Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, distributed by Document Sales, 1981-1982; p. 893