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John Lehman (Wisconsin politician)

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Title: John Lehman (Wisconsin politician)  
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Subject: Racine, Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Senate
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John Lehman (Wisconsin politician)

John W. Lehman
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 21st district
Assumed office
July 16, 2012
Preceded by Van Wanggaard
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Cathy Stepp
Succeeded by Van Wanggaard
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 62nd district
In office
Personal details
Born (1945-08-02) August 2, 1945 (age 68)
Rhinelander, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Catherine A. Lehman
Residence Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.
Religion Lutheran (ELCA)

John W. Lehman (born August 2, 1945) is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 21st District. He was previously a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1996 through 2004.[1] He retook his old seat in the 2012 Wisconsin recall elections, defeating the incumbent Republican, Van Wanggaard, who had defeated Lehman in 2010. On July 11, 2012, Lehman was certified as a member of the Wisconsin State Senate.


Born in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, Lehman graduated from Washington Park High School in Racine, Wisconsin. He received his bachelors degree from Luther College and his master degree from Carthage College. He also went to the University of Wisconsin–Madison and University of Wisconsin–Parkside. He taught history and economics in high school.[2]

Political career

On January 31, 2012, Lehman announced he would run against Wanggaard in what then was "looking like" a probable recall election. He stated "we need a change in course in this state and we need it now" before a gathering of about 20 supporters at the Racine Public Library, where he made the announcement. He added that "we need real leadership in Madison."[3] Volunteers and workers gathered more than 24,000 signatures to recall Wanggaard, one of four state Senators facing a recall along with the Republican Governor Scott Walker and the Republican Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch.[4]

Lehman claimed he was "not seeking payback" against Wanggaard for the 2010 election, but that Wanggaard has not represented Racine County well in the Senate. The Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) stated that the Democrats "could not have done better" because "they" (meaning Lehman, state Rep. Donna Seidel, who would run against current Senator Pam Galloway in the Wausau district, and former state Rep. Kristen Dexter against Senator Terry Moulton in the Chippewa Falls district) "are folks that people have voted for before."[5] On June 6, 2012, Lehman led narrowly in the recall election with all votes counted, giving Democrats a brief one vote majority in the Wisconsin State Senate.

On November 18, 2013 Lehman announced that he would not seek re-election, and instead launched a campaign for Lieutenant Governor in the 2014 general election.[6]

Electoral history

Wisconsin 21st District Senate recall Election 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic John Lehman 36,255 [7] 50.54%
Republican Van Wanggaard (incumbent) 35,476 [8] 49.46%
Wisconsin 21st District Senate Election 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Van Wanggaard 32,031 52.55
Democratic John Lehman (incumbent) 28,922 47.45
Wisconsin 21st District Senate Election 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic John Lehman 31,736 53.07
Republican Bill McReynolds 28,069 46.93


External links

  • 21st Senate District Website Wisconsin State Legislature official site
  • Ballotpedia
  • Project Vote Smart
  • Financial information (state office) at the National Institute for Money in State Politics

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