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Revision as of 17:09, 27 March 2013

Don Pridemore
Pridemore donald.jpg
Current candidacy
Running for Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction
General electionApril 2, 2013
Current office
Wisconsin State Assembly District 22
In office
2005 - Present
Term ends
January 5, 2015
Years in position 10
Base salary$49,943/year
Per diem$88/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2004
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sMarquette University
Date of birth10/20/1946
Place of birthMilwaukee, WI
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Don Pridemore (b. October 20, 1946) is a Republican member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing District 22 since 2013. He represented the 99th District from 2005 to 2013.

Pridemore is currently seeking election to the nonpartisan state executive office of Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction. He will face incumbent Tony Evers in the general election on April 2, 2013.


Pridemore served in the United State Air Force and has worked as an electronics design engineer, electronics research technician, and senior electronics project engineer. He holds a degree in electrical engineering from Marquette University.[1]

He is a member of the Erin Park Board, American Legion, Hartford Lions, Hartford Area Taxpayers Association, National Rifle Association (NRA), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Washington County Republican Party, and Waukesha County Republican Party.[2]


  • Bachelor's of Science in Electrical Engineering - Marquette University

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Pridemore served on the following committees:

Wisconsin Committee Assignments, 2013
Campaigns and Elections, Vice Chair
Urban Education, Chair


During the 2011-2012 legislative session, Pridemore served on these committees:


During the 2009-2010 legislative session, Pridemore served on these committees:



See also: Wisconsin state executive official elections, 2013

Pridemore is a candidate for the non-partisan statewide position of Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2013.[3] The incumbent, Tony Evers, is running for re-election. Unlike previous elections where multiple individuals filed to run, Pridemore was the only challenger to submit the necessary signatures required to appear on the ballot before the[4] [5]filing deadline passed on January 2, 2013[5], thus negating the need for the scheduled February 19, 2013 primary election. Evers and Pridemore, a Republican member of the State House since 2005, will instead face off in the general election on April 2, 2013.[6]


Campaign themes

Pridemore's priorities for the Department of Public Instruction, if elected, include empowering local school boards and administrators to supersede teachers unions as the controlling forces behind state public schools, with the help of Act 10, and placing more emphasis on public schools and conservative style teaching, instead of "choice" schools, or charter schools, to meet the demands of the real world labor force. “There are so many jobs available where the kids coming out of tech schools and high schools don’t have the skills that match those jobs,” he said. “We need to make more connection with the actual world,” he told the Portage Daily Register in March 2013.[7]

He outlines the top issues on his Official campaign website. They include, but are not limited to, the following:[8]

  • Local Control:

"It is time to get the power and the money out of Madison and back to the local schools. We spend over 500 million dollars per year on special programs. School districts should be allowed to spend that money where they decide it would be most beneficial."

  • School Boards:

“School boards should be given the freedom to hire or allow a competent, well trained school official or employee who is experienced with returning force whenever force is required. Police officers, either retired or still on duty, who are trained to respond to school safety situations are the best example of such a qualified person."

  • Virtual Schools:

"There can be no doubt that online learning presents the greatest opportunity to take education to the next level for all Americans. Access to specialized instruction that was out of reach 10 years ago is now only a click of the mouse away. We must allow technology and education to come together."


With less than three weeks to go until the election, incumbent state superintendent Tony Evers and Pridemore faced off on March 13, 2013 at a meeting of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards in Madison. The race, which is non-partisan, had focused on education proposals put forth by Gov. Scott Walker (R) in his budget plan.[9]

Pridemore supports Walker's plan to expand the use of vouchers in the state while not increasing public school spending. Meanwhile Evans, who was first elected in 2009, opposes both measures and wants to increase spending by $225 per student.[10]

Pridemore said budgets are tight and schools should not expect more money. "A lot of these common core standards really started with international standards. Now, why should we be beholden to some worldwide organization that's just trying to dumb down America," he stated.[11]

Regarding school safety, Pridemore proposed allowing schools to have armed volunteers to provide security, which Evers said risks turning schools into the "wild west." While presenting a stark contrast in most of their views, the two did agree in their opposition to Walker's proposal to create a separate school board to oversee charter schools.[12]

Money in the campaign

On March 25, 2013, one week before the election, The Associated Press reported that incumbent Tony Evers' re-campaign had spent almost $210,000 since January, and will end the campaign with about $40,000 cash on hand.[13] These figures reflect the most recent campaign finance reports filed by the candidates' committees with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. The latest report lists contributions and spending from Jan 1-March 18. According to the AP report, Pridemore's last filing, covering Jan. 1-Feb 4., showed him spending under $20,000, a significantly lower sum than his opponent. However the lion's share of Evers' spending occurred between Feb. 5 and March 18, therefore it is difficult to assess the candidates' comparative financial standing heading into the April 2 election without Pridemore's updated financial summary. The report also said Pridemore raised $2,400 and had $33,400 on hand as of Feb. 4, 2013.


Blacklisted reporters

On March 17, 2013, the Associated Press reported on the existence of a memo from Pridemore's campaign containing the names of five members of the press who had been blacklisted, along with their affiliated media outlets, for exhibiting what Pridemore considers "liberal bias." The memo was turned over to the AP by one of the blacklisted reporters, Jack Craver, from The Capital Times. The memos said: "If the reporter requests an interview, they must submit their questions in a written form and they will receive a written response to only those questions we want to respond to. These are all LIBERAL's and have chosen to parse words, phrases and spin my responses to fit their agendas. If they continue to spin our written responses, they will be ignored in the future." It further instructed that campaign staffers record and track all interactions with blacklisted reporters on a spreadsheet. The memo did not provide specific examples for the biased reporting that led to Craver's and the others' shunning by the campaign.[14]


See also: Wisconsin State Assembly elections, 2012

Pridemore won re-election in the 2012 election for Wisconsin State Assembly District 22. Pridemore defeated Nick Oliver in the Republican primary on August 14[15] and was unopposed in the general election on November 6, 2012.[16]

Wisconsin State Assembly, District 22, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDon Pridemore Incumbent 98.6% 23,817
     Scattering 1.4% 348
Total Votes 24,165

Wisconsin State Assembly, District 22 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDon Pridemore Incumbent 83.2% 8,290
Nick Oliver 16.8% 1,675
Total Votes 9,965


See also: Wisconsin State Assembly elections, 2010

Pridemore was re-elected to Wisconsin State Assembly District 99. He defeated Democrat Tom Hibbard in the general election on November 2, 2010. He defeated Republicans Jim Batzko and Scott Henke in the September 14, 2010 primary election. [17]

Wisconsin State Assembly, District 99 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Don Pridemore (R) 22,355
Tom Hibbard (D) 6,518
Wisconsin State Assembly, District 1 Republican Primary (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Don Pridemore (R) 7,618 57.65%
Scott M. Henke (R) 3,164 23.94%
Jim Batzko (R) 2,427 18.37%

Legislation sponsored in 2009 includes:

  • AB-336 Health care facility, health care provider, or employee of: liability from immunity for reporting violation of law or certain standards, unprofessional conduct, or negligence in patient care; confidentiality of patient health care records provision
  • AB-359 Married couple with Wisconsin adjusted gross income under certain amount: refundable individual income tax credit created

For a full listing of sponsored legislation and details see the House site.

Campaign donors


Campaign donor information is not yet available for this year.


In 2010, Pridemore received $18,883 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[18]

Wisconsin State Assembly 2010 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Don Pridemore's campaign in 2010
Wisconsin Institute Of CPAs$750
Wisconsin Health & Hospital Association$500
Bradt, Sam$500
Wisconsin Republican Party$500
Tavern League Of Wisconsin$500
Total Raised in 2010 $18,883


The top 5 donors to Pridemore's 2008 campaign:[19]

Donor Amount
Northwestern Mutual Life $500
WI Realtors Assoc $500
Mitchell, Susan M $500
WI Motor Carriers Assoc $500
Walton, Lynne $500

Recent news

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External links

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  1. The Greendale Patch, "Election Preview: State Superintendent of Schools," March 22, 2013
  2. Project Vote Smart - Assemblyman Pridemore
  3. /page/candidates_registered_4_2_2013_spring_election_1__81844.PDF Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Candidate List-Spring 2013 Elections," accessed January 2, 2013
  4. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Candidate List-Spring 2013 Elections," accessed January 2, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 Green Bay Press Gazette, "State Superintendent Supreme Court Justice will face challenges," Accessed January 8, 2013
  6. WTAQ, "State public school superintendent candidates take jabs at each other," Accessed January 8, 2013
  7. Portage Daily Register, "Pridemore: Take control of education from union," March 8, 2013
  8. Pridemore for Wisconsin, "Issues," accessed March 12, 2013
  9. Walworth County Today, "Wisconsin superintendent candidates to debate," March 12, 2013
  10. Twin Cities, "Wisconsin: Evers, Pridemore clash in education superintendent debate," March 13, 2013
  11. WXOW, "Evers, Pridemore clash in superintendent debate," March 13, 2013
  12. Wisconsin Radio Network, "Stark contrast in state superintendent race," March 13, 2013
  13., "Superintendent Candidate Evers Spends over 200 Thousand Dollars on Re-election Campaign," March 25, 2013
  14. The Republic, "GOP education superintendent candidate's campaign blacklists 5 Wisconsin reporters," March 17, 2013
  15. Wisconsin Department of Elections - Official Primary Results
  16. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Candidates on Ballot by Election - 2012 Partisan Primary 8/14/2012," retrieved June 12, 2012
  17. Official GAB primary results
  18. Follow the Money - 2010 contributions
  19. Follow the Money - 2008 Campaign Contributions
Political offices
Preceded by
Wisconsin State Assembly District 22
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Wisconsin State Assembly District 99
Succeeded by
Chris Kapenga (R)