Meet the Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Participating in Tonight's Debate

16 hours ago

Here’s a look at the eight Democratic candidates - in alphabetical order - in the Wisconsin governor race.

Tony Evers

Tony Evers is the current Wisconsin State Superintendent and has been elected to the office three times.

From teaching to running school districts, Evers has been in education his entire adult career. He was the Deputy State Superintendent of Public Instruction from 2001 to 2009. Prior to that, Evers was the chief administrator of Cooperative Educational Service Agency 6, which serves school districts in east central Wisconsin. He was also a curriculum auditor for Texas, California, Indiana, Kansas and Ohio.

Evers attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and resides in Madison. Learn more about him here.

Matt Flynn

Matt Flynn is the former Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. He’s also a Navy veteran and attorney.

After being honorably discharged from Navy, Flynn attended law school and started a career in Milwaukee. Most recently, Flynn was a partner in the Milwaukee law office Quarles and Brady, where he handled many complex controversial cases. He was the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin from 1981 to 1985.

He attended law school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Flynn resides in the Milwaukee area. Learn more about him here

Mike McCabe

Mike McCabe is the former executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan watchdog group that tracks money spent in state elections. He is the founder of Blue Jean Nation, a nonpartisan group that aims to get more regular people involved with the government and was inspired by McCabe’s book, Blue Jeans in High Places: The Coming Makeover of American Politics.

McCabe also worked as a communications director and legislative liaison for the Madison Metropolitan School District, a newspaper reporter, and legislative aide for several Republican members of the Wisconsin State Assembly.

He attended journalism school at University of Wisconsin-Madison. McCabe resides in the Madison area. Learn more about him here.

Mahlon Mitchell

Mahlon Mitchell is the president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, becoming the youngest and first African American to hold the position.

For more than 20 years, Mitchell has been a firefighter. Somewhat of a family tradition, as both his brothers are also firefighters. He served as director and counselor at the Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety’s Burn Camp and as an outreach coordinator with Briarpatch and Youth Services of Southern Wisconsin, helping at-risk youth find services in their community.

In 2012, Mitchell was the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor in the recall election. Recently, he helped pass two pieces of legislation aimed to insure firefighters if they fall ill or become disabled on the job and cover the health premiums of the families if a firefighter dies on duty.

Mitchell attended Mount Senario College. He lives in Fitchburg. Learn more about Mitchell here

Josh Pade

Josh Pade formerly worked for the J.Crew corporation in New York. He grew up in Kenosha.

As a pro bono attorney for Legal Services NYC, Pade helped people get government assistance to cover damage to their homes caused during the 2012 Hurricane Sandy. He’s held a range of positions at a variety of organizations, including merchandiser and manager at Festival Foods and investigative coordinator for the American Red Cross.

He attended University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Suffolk University Law School in New York. Pade resides in Milwaukee. Learn more about him here

Kelda Helen Roys

Kelda Roys is a former state representative and the current CEO and founder of OpenHomes, a Madison-based startup aiming to automate the process of buying and selling homes.

As an attorney, she helped free wrongfully convicted prisoners through the Wisconsin Innocence Project. Roys also played a role in passing the BPA Free Kids Act, a bill that banned Bisphenol-A or BPA (a harmful chemical found in plastics) from appearing in children’s food or beverage containers in Wisconsin in 2010. She spent four years as executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, a non-profit working to make abortions widely accessible.

She attended New York University and University of Wisconsin Law School. Roys lives in the Madison area. Learn more about her here.

Paul Soglin

Paul Soglin is the mayor of Madison and has been elected to the office nine times.

As Madison’s mayor, Soglin raised the minimum wage, increased affordable and senior housing, and hired more women and people of color. Throughout his career, he’s been elected to the Madison Common Council, served as a financial advisor at Lincoln Financial and as the administrator at Epic Systems.

Soglin went to University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Wisconsin Law School. He lives in Madison. Learn more about Soglin here

Kathleen Vinehout

Kathleen Vinehout is a Democratic State Senator. She’s been elected to the office twice.

Her political career began in 2006 when she ran for State Senator and won. Before becoming a senator, Vinehout taught and directed the Health Services Administration program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She is the former director of Visiting Nurse Association in St. Louis.

Vinehout has graduate degrees in Health Services Research and Public Health and an associate degree in Agriculture. She resides in Alma. Learn more about Vinehout here