2018 Governor’s Race – Democratic candidates

Governor Scott Walker is facing re-election on November 6, 2018.  Democrats running against him will have the Blue momentum that appears to be a national trend to run against Trump’s policies and Walker’s questionable “success” stories.  They will also face the large amount of dark money from the Koch Brothers and others who have funded Walker in past elections. Wisconsin is one of 36 states holding an election for governor in 2018.

The line-up so far offers some good choices. Endorsements are key to any campaign successes as well as grassroots support. A Democratic Party primary election takes place on August 14, 2018 to determine which candidate will run in the November 6, 2018 general election as the party’s gubernatorial nominee. The filing deadline for candidates seeking to participate in this race is June 1, 2018.  Here is the current list of potential candidates, which will be updated as more information is available:

Name Background Endorsements Links
Michele Doolan Small business owner and is the wife of a Gulf War veteran Web
Tony Evers Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction U.S. Senators

  • Herb Kohl, Wisconsin (former)

State officials

  • Barbara Lawton, former Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin

Municipal elected officials

  • Susan J. M. Bauman, former Mayor of Madison
  • Joel Skornicka, former Mayor of Madison


  • Wisconsin Postal Workers Union
Matt Flynn Former chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin & retired partner at Quarles & Brady State elected officials

  • Tony Earl, former Governor of Wisconsin

County elected officials

  • Gerry Broderick, former Milwaukee County Supervisor, 3rd District
  • John T. Chisholm, district attorney of Milwaukee County
  • John La Fave, Register of deeds of Milwaukee County and former state representative

Municipal elected officials

  • Bryan Kennedy, Mayor of Glendale
  • Nik Kovac, Milwaukee Alderman, 3rd District
  • Terry Witkowski, Milwaukee Alderman, 13th District

Appointed officials

  • Steve Bablitch, former Secretary of the Wisconsin Departments of Administration and Corrections
  • Sheldon B. Lubar, former Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Cory Nettles, former Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce
  • James Santelle, former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • John W. Daniels, chairman emeritus of Quarles & Brady
  • Ernesto Chacon, president of the Federation for Civic Action
  • Edward J. Zore, chairman of Northwestern Mutual
Andy Gronik Businessman Web
Bob Harlow Candidate for CA-18 in 2016 Web
Dave Heaster Retired technology professional Web
Mike McCabe Former executive director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Web
Mahlon Mitchell President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin and nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 2012 Members of Congress

  • Gwen Moore, U.S. Representative-Wisconsin’s 4th congressional district

Local officials

  • Dave J. Mahoney, Sheriff of Dane County


  • Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139
  • Service Employees International Union Wisconsin State Council
  • Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin
Kelda Roys Former State Representative and candidate for WI-02 in 2012 Web
Jeff Rumbaugh Disability worker at UW-Waisman Center Community TIES Web
Paul Soglin Mayor of Madison Web
Kathleen Vinehout State Senator and candidate for Governor in 2012 Web
Dana Wachs State Representative U.S. Representatives

  • Dave Obey, 7th congressional district (former)

State legislators

  • LaTonya Johnson, state senator
  • Christine Sinicki, state representative
  • Nick Milroy, state representative
  • Dianne Hesselbein, state representative
  • Tod Ohnstad, state representative
  • Steve Doyle, state representative
  • Jill Billings, state representative
  • Jonathan Brostoff, state representative
  • Mark Spreitzer, state representative
  • Dave Considine, state representative
  • Lisa Subeck, state representative

Sources: WIKI

It’s very early for polls to be meaningful, but this Public Policy Polling poll gives Tony Evers the edge so far with a large Undecided sector.

Governor of Wisconsin, 2018 Democratic primary – (January 8-10, 2018)

Public Policy Polling MOE: +/-3.6

Evers Flynn Roys Wachs Gronik Soglin Mitchell Vinehout McCabe Undec.
29% 5% 2% 4% 2% 10% 5% 11% 5% 28%

There will be more forum discussions as they are scheduled.

Here is the Wisconsin Democratic Gubernatorial Forum, held on January 17, 2018 at the UW-Fox Valley.