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Van Wanggaard

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Van Wanggaard
Van Wanggaard.jpg
Wisconsin State Senate District 21
In office
2011-2012, January 5, 2015 - present
Term ends
January 6, 2019
Years in position (current service)0
Years in position (previous service)1
Base salary$49,943/year
Per diem$88/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 6, 2018
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Wisconsin State Senate District 21
2011 - July 16, 2012
Date of birth1952
Place of birthFort Leavenworth, KS
ProfessionRetired Police Officer, County Board Supervisor
Office website
Campaign website
Van H. Wanggaard is a Republican member of the Wisconsin State Senate, representing District 21. He was first elected to the chamber in 2014.

Wanggaard previously served in the Wisconsin State Senate, representing District 21 from 2010 to July 2012. Wanggaard lost the seat to John Lehman (D) in a recall election in 2012. He served as a member on the Racine County Board of Supervisors, District 7, from 2002 to 2011.


Wanggaard is a 29-year veteran of the Racine Police Department. He worked as a Director for Traffic Accident Consultants, Inc from 1987-1995, and as an instructor with numerous law enforcement and state agencies.[1]

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Wanggaard served on the following committees:

Wisconsin Committee Assignments, 2015
Elections and Local Government
Labor and Government Reform, Vice Chair
Judiciary and Public Safety, Chair
Joint Legislative Council
Joint Review on Criminal Penalties, Co-Chair


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Wanggaard served on these committees:


Campaign themes


Wanggaard's campaign website highlighted the following issues:[2]

Jobs & Economic Growth

  • Excerpt: "Cut Taxes for Every Taxpayer"
  • Excerpt: "Expand Investment Opportunity"
  • Excerpt: "Bring the Hard Rock Casino to Kenosha"

Tax Reform

  • Excerpt: "Property Tax Cuts – Wisconsin’s property tax burden is still too high. I will work to continue cutting property taxes."
  • Excerpt: "Income Tax Cuts – I will work to flatten our income tax and lower tax rates for all taxpayers."
  • Excerpt: "Business Taxes – Work to repeal Combined Reporting, and the Capital Gains Tax"


  • Excerpt: "Repeal and replace Common Core State Standards"
  • Excerpt: "Bring innovations to the classroom"
  • Excerpt: "Expand school choice opportunities statewide"

2nd Amendment

  • Excerpt: "Continue to fight for Constitutional Carry with an optional permit for reciprocity purposes"
  • Excerpt: "Fight all efforts to restrict your 2nd Amendment rights"


  • Excerpt: "Prohibit sex selection abortions"
  • Excerpt: "Prohibit state health insurance policies from covering abortions"
  • Excerpt: "Support a 'Choose Life' license plate"



See also: Wisconsin State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for 17 seats in the Wisconsin State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on August 12, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was June 2, 2014. Randy Bryce ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, while Van Wanggaard defeated Jonathan Steitz in the Republican primary. Bill Thompkins ran as a write-in candidate for the Restoring Power and Responsibility Party in the general election. Wanggaard defeated Bryce and Thompkins in the general election.[3][4][5][6]

Wisconsin State Senate, District 21 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngVan Wanggaard 61.5% 44,967
     Democratic Randy Bryce 38.4% 28,106
     Restoring Power and Responsibility Bill Thompkins 0% 34
Total Votes 73,107

2012 recall

See also: Van Wanggaard recall, Wisconsin State Senate (2012)

Wanggaard faced Democrat John Lehman in a recall on June 5, 2012.[7]

Unofficial results showed John Lehman (D) won the election by 779 votes and he declared victory. Wanggaard considered a recount - the county's board of canvassars had until June 15 to submit final vote totals.[8] With the official canvass showing Lehman winning by 834 votes, Wanggaard called for a recount on June 15.[9] Final tallies released July 2 showed Lehman won by 819 votes - 36,358 to 35,539.[10] On July 10, Wanggaard announced he would not file a lawsuit, allowing the results to stand.[11]

Recall of Wisconsin State Senator Van Wanggaard, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Van Wanggaard Incumbent 49.4% 35,517
     Democratic John Lehman 50.5% 36,351
     - Scattering 0.1% 56
Total Votes 71,924
Source: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board

An effort to recall Wanggaard was launched on November 15, 2011.[12] Supporters of the recall submitted over 24,000 signatures on January 17, 2012. The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board voted unanimously on March 12 to order the recall, determining that at least 19,142 of the signatures were valid.[13]


See also: Wisconsin State Senate elections, 2010

Wanggaard defeated Democrat incumbent John Lehman in the November 2, 2010, general election. Wanggaard defeated Republican Bob Gulan in the September 14 primary election. [14][15]

Wisconsin State Senate, District 21 (2010) General Election
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Van Wanggaard (R) 32,306 52.52%
John Lehman (D) 28,930 47.43%
Wisconsin Senate, District 21 Republican Primary (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Van H. Wanggaard (R) 13,864 79.89%
Bob Gulan (R) 3,475 20.03%

Campaign donors


In 2010, the year Wanggaard first won election to the Senate, he collected $257,684 in donations.[16]

His four largest contributors in 2010 were:

Donor Amount
Andrea Bryant $1,750
Racine County Republican Party $1,250
Republican Party of Ozaukee County $1,150
William Barry $1,000


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Wisconsin

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Wisconsin scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.



In 2014, Wanggaard's endorsements included the following:[17]


Wanggaard and his wife, Mary Jo, have two children.

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See also

External links

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  1. Project Vote, "Senator Van H. Wanggaard biography," May 27, 2011
  2. Wanggaard for Senate, "Issues and Accomplishments," accessed October 23, 2014
  3. Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin 2014 fall primary election results," accessed August 12, 2014
  4. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "2014 Partisan Primary Candidates," accessed June 19, 2014
  5. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Candidates Registered by Office," June 11, 2014
  6. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Canvass Results for 2014 General Election," December 1, 2014
  7. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "4 Democrats easily win Senate primaries," May 9, 2012
  8. WAOW, "Wanggaard still not conceding election," June 6, 2012
  9. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wanggaard calls for recount in Senate recall race," June 15, 2012
  10. Chicago Tribune, "Recount: Dem wins Wisconsin Senate recall," July 2, 2012
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named results
  12. FOX 6 Now, "Recall paperwork filed Tuesday for four senators, including Van Wanggaard," November 15, 2011
  13. The Journal Times, "Wis. board orders recalls against 4 GOP senators," March 12, 2012
  14. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Official 2010 Primary election results," accessed April 25, 2014
  15. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Official 2010 General election results," accessed April 25, 2014
  16. Follow the, Van Wanggaard candidate summary," accessed June9, 2011
  17. Wanggaard for Senate, "Endorsements," accessed October 23, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
John Lehman (D)
Wisconsin State Senate District 21
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John Lehman (D)
Wisconsin State Senate District 21
2011-July 2012
Succeeded by
John Lehman (D)