Joe Knilans

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Joe Knilans
Joe Knilans.jpg
Wisconsin State Assembly District 44
Former officeholder
In office
2011 - January 3, 2013
Base salary$49,943/year
Per diem$88/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First elected2010
Term limitsN/A
AssociatesUniversity of Wisconsin, Rock County, 2005
Bachelor'sUniversity of Wisonsin, Whitewater, 2009
Date of birth03/20/1964
Place of birthJanesville, WI
Office website
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Joe Knilans is a former Republican member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing District 44 from 2011 to 2013.

Knilans was previously employed by J.S. Innovations in Janesville. He also worked for General Motors in Janesville for 13 years, both as assembly worker and as Supervisor.

He has earned an Associates Degree from the University of Wisconsin, Rock County and then his BS in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater.[1]

Committee assignments


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



See also: Wisconsin State Assembly elections, 2012

Knilans lost re-election in the 2012 election for Wisconsin State Assembly District 44. Knilans ran unopposed in the Republican primary on August 14 and was defeated by Debra Kolste (D) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[2]

Wisconsin State Assembly, District 44, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Joe Knilans Incumbent 38.3% 10,571
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDebra Kolste 61.5% 16,983
     - Scattering 0.2% 43
Total Votes 27,597


See also: Wisconsin State Assembly elections, 2010

Knilans defeated Democratic incumbent Mike Sheridan in the November 2 general election. He defeated Republican Kenneth Brotheridge, Charles Knipp and William Truman in the primary election. [3]

Wisconsin State Assembly, District 44 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Joe Knilans (R) 8,684
Mike Sheridan (D) 8,169
Wisconsin State Assembly, District 44 Republican Primary (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Joe Knillans (R) 1,484 48.1%
William Truman (R) 613 19.87%
Charles Knipp (R) 597 19.35%
Kenneth Brotheridge (R) 390 12.64%

Campaign themes

Knilans will focus on the following issues, according to his website:

  • "Bringing jobs back to the area
  • Lowering taxes
  • Updating regulations that are hampering the local businesses
  • Eliminating wasteful spending
  • Family values and education
  • Photo identification for voting" [4]

Campaign donors

In Wisconsin, there is a $500 campaign contribution limit for donations to partisan Assembly candidates.[5]


In 2010, when Knilans first won election to the State Assembly, he collected $29,240 in donations.[6]

His largest contributors in 2010 were:

Donor Amount
Joseph John Knilans $6,000
1st District Republican Party of Wisconsin $1,000
Northwestern Mutual Life $500
Wisconsin Republican Party $500
Ryan for Congress $500
Friends & Neighbors of Robin Vos $500
Republican Party of Rock County $500
Tavern League of Wisconsin $500
Alliant Energy $500
11 individual donors $500 each


Knilans is married and has two children.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Wisconsin State Assembly District 44
Succeeded by
Debra Kolste (D)