Jonathan Steitz

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Jonathan Steitz
Jonathan Steitz.JPG
Former candidate for
Wisconsin State Senate, District 21
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Campaign website
Jonathan Steitz was a 2014 Republican candidate for District 21 of the Wisconsin State Senate.[1]

Steitz was a Republican candidate for District 22 of the Wisconsin State Senate in the recall against incumbent Sen. Robert Wirch.[2] Steitz defeated Fred Ekornaas in the Republican primary on July 19. He lost to Wirch in the recall on August 16.

Seal of Wisconsin.svg.png
2011 Wisconsin Senate Recalls

Senators Facing Recall
Robert CowlesAlberta DarlingSheila HarsdorfDave HansenJim HolperinRandy HopperDan KapankeLuther OlsenRobert Wirch

Other Recall Information
Recalls by YearRecall Law in WisconsinRecall laws in other statesRecalls in Wisconsin2011 Scott Walker Budget Repair BillProtests over Budget Repair BillWisconsin Government Accountability BoardRecall timelineElection Results


Steitz's professional experience includes working as an investment banker, a capital markets attorney, and a small business owner.[3]



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.[4][5][1][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


Jonathan Steitz announces his campaign for senate
See also: Recall of Wisconsin State Senators (2011) and Robert Wirch recall, Wisconsin State Senate (2011)

Steitz announced that he would run against Democratic Robert Wirch if a campaign to recall the current incumbent senator was approved. About 18,000 signatures to recall Wirch were filed on April 21, 2011. Signatures were filed against nine different state senators in Wisconsin while a total of 16 were originally targeted for recall.[7]

July 19 Republican Primary

Steitz defeated Ekornaas in the Republican primary.

July 19 Republican primary[8]
Candidates Votes Percent
Jonathan Steitz Approveda 5,981 61.06%
Fred Ekornaas 3,369 34.39%
Scattering 446 4.55%

August 16 recall

Steitz lost to Wirch in the recall.

August 16 Recall - District 22[9]
Candidates Votes Percent
Robert Wirch (D) Green check mark transparent.png 25,524 57.35%
Jonathan Steitz (R) 19,662 42.51%
Brian Harwood (Write-in) 23 .05%
Scattering 42 .09%


Steitz’s campaign issued a call on July 25 for Wirch to debate the issues. According to a press release from Steitz, three organizations - the Kenosha Area Business Association, the American Association of University Women, and WLIP radio - invited the candidates to take part in debates, but Wirch did not respond. “Wirch is unwilling to stand on his record so he can avoid public discussion at all costs," Steitz said.[10]

Wirch and Steitz took part in a Journal Times online forum on August 10, answering questions from readers. Their responses showed clear differences in the candidates, starting with their views on the recall itself. Wirch called it "a waste of taxpayer money put on by radical elements in the Republican Party," while Steitz said, "I believe that a recall is appropriate when an elected official fails to do his job and abdicates his responsibility to represent us in Madison."[11] When asked their top priority, both said jobs, but greatly differed on the means to that end. Steitz called for a simpler tax code with overall reduced taxes, along with reduced regulations in order to promote competition. Wirch advocated for education that would lead to a well-trained workforce.

Certification challenge delays

On May 27, 2011, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board announced it would be unable to consider the recall petitions for the three Democratic incumbents at the May 31, 2011 meeting. Citing "numerous factual and legal issues," the Board said in its statement that more time is needed to ensure that a complete record will be available for examination -- particularly since the decision will likely be appealed to the courts.[12]

In its release, the GAB officials said they did not expect to be able to hold a hearing on the recalls of Democratic incumbents until the week of June 6. This raised potential legal issues, as the initial extension granted to GAB for certification required it to ultimately make determinations before June 3.[12]

The board went ahead with hearings on May 31 for the recalls of Republican incumbents Sheila Harsdorf, Robert Cowles and Alberta Darling.[13] Officials released a 125-page memo on May 27, 2011 concerning the signatures and legal challenges.

The GAB filed a brief on June 1 asking the court for a one-week extension, which would give them until June 10 to finish working on the three Democratic recalls. The case was heard in Dane County Court at 1:30 pm on Friday, June 3.[14][15] Dane County Judge John Markson ruled that there was good cause for the extension, and that the GAB did not violate any rules by taking up the petitions out of order.[16]

Ultimately, on June 8, after nearly 9 hours of deliberations, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board certified the recalls of three Democratic incumbents and set an initial election for July 19.[17]

Ads relating to the campaign

Campaign themes

On his campaign website Steitz outlined five issues he was focused on:

  • Leadership
Excerpt: " I pledge to serve the taxpayers of the 22nd District with integrity; by first listening to the needs and concerns of my constituents, then making the tough decisions that will serve the best interests of the district in the long term. And I will never abandon my post – no matter how difficult things get."
  • Job Creation and Economic Growth
Excerpt: "I will work to implement policies that will encourage economic growth in the 22nd District – a simpler tax code, lower taxes and less burdensome government regulation. The private sector creates jobs and economic growth, not the public sector. Small businesses are the back bone of the private sector."
  • Taxes
Excerpt: "Wisconsin doesn’t have a revenue problem – it has a spending problem. We must balance the budget without raising taxes. As senator, I will not support any budget that raises taxes."
  • 2nd Amendment
Excerpt: "I believe that the right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment includes the right to carry arms, whether open or concealed. I support SB93 (“Constitutional Carry”). I believe that restrictive gun laws serve only to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens – and do nothing to change the behavior of criminals."
  • Pro-family Issues
Excerpt: "I believe in the sanctity of life in all stages and am adamantly pro-life. While I believe that government should be involved as little as possible in personal decisions, there is no more important role of government than to protect the most vulnerable people in our society, including the unborn. I believe the family unit is the bedrock of society and will support policies that place marriage and the family at the center, working to promote and strengthen this long-established institution."

Campaign contributions

Jonathan Steitz Campaign Finance Reports (GAB ID No. 0105110)
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Total Contributions (Expenditures) Cash on Hand
Special Pre-Election[18] August 8, 2011 $12,476.00 $38,676.00 $(27,894.94) $23,257.06
July Continuing[19] July 11, 2011 $0.00 $27,197.40 $(20,777.17) $6,515.23

Official reports

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Candidates Registered by Office," June 11, 2014
  2. Greenfield Reporter, "Second challenger for Wisconsin Democratic Senator Wirch in possible recall election," May 18, 2011
  3. Steitz for Senate, "About," accessed July 30, 2014
  4. Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin 2014 fall primary election results," accessed August 12, 2014
  5. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "2014 Partisan Primary Candidates," accessed June 19, 2014
  6. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Canvass Results for 2014 General Election," December 1, 2014
  7. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Recall petitions filed against 4 lawmakers," April 21, 2011
  8. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "July 19 Primary Election Results District 22," accessed August 11, 2011
  9. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "District 22 recall election results," accessed August 26, 2011
  10. WisPolitics, “Steitz Campaign: Wirch ducking debates with Steitz,” July 25, 2011
  11. The Journal Times, "Wirch and Steitz battling to the finish during JT online forum," August 11, 2011
  12. 12.0 12.1 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Review of recall petitions going slowly; July 12 election in doubt," May 27, 2011
  13. Greenfield Reporter, "Wis. election officials delay decision on recall petitions for Dems, may need date change," May 27, 2011
  14. WisPolitics, "GAB formally asks judge for more time to consider recall petitions against Dems," June 1, 2011
  15. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "State board requests more time to review recall petitions," June 1, 2011
  16. NBC 15, "UPDATE: Judge Grants Week Extension for Recall Review," June 3, 2011
  17. WISN, “GAB Certifies 3 Democratic Recall Elections,” June 8, 2011 (dead link)
  18. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: STATE OF WISCONSIN: GAB-2: Steitz for Senate," August 8, 2011
  19. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: STATE OF WISCONSIN: GAB-2: Steitz for Senate," July 11, 2011