Tony Evers Article

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Tony Evers
Tony Evers Flag Portrait.jpg
46th Governor of Wisconsin
Assumed office
January 7, 2019
Lieutenant Mandela Barnes
Preceded by Scott Walker
26th Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction
In office
July 6, 2009 – January 7, 2019
Governor Jim Doyle
Scott Walker
Preceded by Elizabeth Burmaster
Succeeded by Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Personal details
Anthony Steven Evers

(1951-11-05) November 5, 1951 (age 67)
Plymouth, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kathy Evers
Residence Governor's Mansion
Education University of Wisconsin, Madison ( BA, MA, PhD)
Website Official website

Anthony Steven Evers ( /ˈvərz/ (born November 5, 1951) is an American politician and educator who has been serving as the 46th Governor of Wisconsin, since January 7, 2019. [1] [2] A member of the Democratic Party, Evers previously served as the Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction. [3]

Born and raised in Plymouth, Wisconsin, Evers was educated at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, eventually receiving a Ph. D. After working as a school teacher for several years, he became a school administrator, serving as a principal and, later, district superintendent. Evers first ran for Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1993 and 2001, losing both elections. However, he was appointed the deputy superintendent, a position he served in from 2001 to 2009. In 2009, he made another attempt for Superintendent of Public Instruction, this time winning. He was reelected twice, in 2013 and 2017.

Evers announced on August 23, 2017, that he would be a candidate for governor of Wisconsin, challenging two-term Republican incumbent Scott Walker. Walker was seen as a vulnerable incumbent and had been criticized for his policies regarding education. Evers won the Democratic primary in August 2018. Former state representative Mandela Barnes won the primary for lieutenant governor, becoming Evers' running mate. The pair defeated Walker in the general election.

Early life and career

Born in 1951 in Plymouth, Wisconsin, to a physician father, [4] Evers attended Plymouth High School. [5] Evers received his bachelor's (1974), master's (1978), and doctoral degrees (1986) from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. [6] He began his professional career as a teacher and media coordinator in the Tomah school district. From 1979 to 1980, he was principal of Tomah Elementary School, and from 1980 to 1984 he was principal of Tomah High School. From 1984 to 1988, Evers was superintendent of the Oakfield school district, and from 1988 to 1992 he was superintendent of the Verona school district. From 1992 to 2001, he was administrator of the Cooperative Education Service Agency (CESA) in Oshkosh. [7]

State Department of Public Instruction (2001–2019)

Evers first ran for state superintendent, a nonpartisan post, in 1993 and was defeated by John Benson. In 2001, he came in third in the primary to Elizabeth Burmaster. After her election, Burmaster appointed Evers as Deputy Superintendent, a position he held until Burmaster was appointed president of Nicolet College. [8] Evers served as president of the Council of Chief State School Officers and from 2001 to 2009 was Wisconsin's Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction.

State Superintendent

Evers then ran again in 2009, this time winning. He defeated Rose Fernandez in the general election. [9] In April 2013, Evers defeated Don Pridemore and won reelection. [10] In 2017, Evers defeated Republican-backed candidate Lowell Holtz, a former Beloit superintendent, winning about 70 percent of the vote.

In 2009, Evers used government email accounts for fundraising purposes. [11] He and another government employee were fined $250 each for soliciting campaign donations during work hours. [12] [13]

Student mental health

In 2017, Evers secured increased state investment in order to increase the number of trained professionals in schools and more funding for mental health training and cross-sector collaboration. [14]

Relations with Tribal Nations

As Superintendent, Evers worked with the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council and the federally recognized tribal nations in Wisconsin to begin an MOU process with each tribal nation to outline the respected and trusted working partnership the state seeks to establish and grow with each sovereign nation. [15]

Funding formula proposal

Evers has proposed the "Fair Funding for Our Future" school finance reform plan. [16] The plan seeks to address some of the challenges with the current Wisconsin school funding system and proposed changes to ensure equity and transparency in the quality of Wisconsin schools. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker never included Evers' plan in his proposed state budgets, citing the cost. [17] [18]

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

In March 2016, the United States Department of Education announced that Evers had been selected to serve on the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for Title 1, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The federal committee was charged with drafting proposed regulations for two areas of the ESSA. [19]

Evers delivering the 2012 "State of Education Address" in the Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda

Sparsity Aid

Sparsity aid was enacted in Wisconsin based on recommendations from Evers' Rural Schools Advisory Council. The council stressed that declining enrollment and escalating fixed costs were issues that put added pressure on small, sparsely populated districts. Since implemented, hundreds of school districts have benefitted from sparsity aids. [20]

Governor of Wisconsin (2019–present)

2018 gubernatorial campaign

On August 23, 2017, Evers announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination for governor of Wisconsin in 2018. [21] He cited his 2017 reelection as state superintendent with over 70 percent of the vote, as well as his criticism of incumbent governor Scott Walker, as key reasons for deciding to run. Evers launched his first campaign advertisement against Walker on August 28, 2017. [22] Evers won the eight-candidate Democratic primary on August 14, 2018. [23] On November 6, 2018, Evers won the election to become governor of Wisconsin, defeating two-term Republican incumbent Scott Walker.

Political positions

Evers has said his top three priorities are improving the Wisconsin public school system, making health care more affordable, and fixing Wisconsin's roads and bridges. [24]


Evers supports directing more funding towards K-12 education and would like to work with Republicans to do more to help underperforming schools. [25] He would like to expand Pre-K education to all students and continue the freeze of the in-state tuition price for higher education. [24]

Health care

Evers has said that Scott Walker's decisions regarding health care in Wisconsin have led to higher insurance premiums for residents. [26] He has pointed out that Minnesota accepted a Medicaid expansion and has been more proactive about healthcare overall, resulting in 47% lower insurance premiums than Wisconsin. [27] Evers supports legislation that would protect residents from being charged higher costs for health insurance due to old age or pre-existing conditions. He also supports allowing children to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until the age of 26. [28] He plans to remove Wisconsin from a national lawsuit which seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act. [24]


Evers has cited studies showing that Wisconsin has some of the worst roads in the United States. Evers ran for governor on a promise of focusing on improving roads and bridges, and has stated he is open to imposing a gas tax to fund the projects. [24]

Income taxes

Evers has proposed to cut income tax by 10% for Wisconsin residents who earn less than $100,000/year and families that earn less than $150,000/year. He would fund this by capping a state tax break for manufacturers and farmers at $300,000/year. [24]

Medical marijuana

Having campaigned on his support of cannabis in Wisconsin, Governor Evers announced in January 2019 the inclusion of medical marijuana in his state budget as a "first step" towards legalization. [29] Evers also indicated support for recreational marijuana legalization, but prefers a statewide referendum on the issue.

Personal life

Evers is married to his high-school sweetheart, Kathy. [30] They are parents of three adult children and have seven grandchildren. Evers had esophageal cancer before undergoing intensive surgery in 2008. [31]

Electoral history

Wisconsin Gubernatorial Election, 2018 [32] [33]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Tony Evers 1,324,307 49.54% +2.95%
Republican Scott Walker (incumbent) 1,295,080 48.44% -3.82%
Libertarian Phil Anderson 20,255 0.76% N/A
Independent Maggie Turnbull 18,884 0.71% N/A
Green Michael White 11,087 0.41% N/A
Independent Arnie Enz 2,745 0.10% N/A
Write-ins 980 0.04% -0.02%
Total votes 2,673,308 100.0% +10.91%
Democratic gain from Republican
Wisconsin Democratic Gubernatorial Primary Election, 2018 [34] [35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Tony Evers 225,082 41.77%
Democratic Mahlon Mitchell 87,926 16.32%
Democratic Kelda Roys 69,086 12.82%
Democratic Kathleen Vinehout 44,168 8.20%
Democratic Mike McCabe 39,885 7.40%
Democratic Matt Flynn 31,580 5.86%
Democratic Paul Soglin 28,158 5.23%
Democratic Andy Gronik 6,627 1.23%
Democratic Dana Wachs 4,216 0.78%
Democratic Josh Pade 1,908 0.35%
Write-ins 221 0.04%
Total votes 537,719 100.0% +72.29%
Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Election, 2017 [36]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Tony Evers (incumbent) 494,793 69.86% +7.71%
Independent Lowell Holtz 212,504 30.00%
Write-ins 992 0.14% -0.04%
Total votes 708,289 100.0% -11.08%
Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Election, 2013 [37]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Tony Evers (incumbent) 487,030 61.15% +4.01%
Independent Don Pridemore 308,050 38.67%
Write-ins 1,431 0.18% +0.06%
Total votes 796,511 100.0% +3.62%
Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Election, 2009 [38]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Tony Evers 439,248 57.14%
Independent Rose Fernandez 328,511 42.74%
Write-ins 905 0.12% +0.02%
Total votes 768,664 100.0% +6.22%
Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Primary Election, 2009 [39]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Tony Evers 89,883 34.99%
Independent Rose Fernandez 79,757 31.04%
Independent Van Mobley 34,940 13.60%
Independent Todd Price 28,927 11.26%
Independent Lowell Holtz 22,373 8.71%
Write-ins 1,431 0.18% +0.06%
Total votes 256,909 100.0% +7.89%
Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Primary Election, 2001 [40]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Linda Cross 58,258 23.18%
Independent Elizabeth Burmaster 55,327 22.01%
Independent Tony Evers 45,575 18.13%
Independent Jonathan Barry 36,135 14.38%
Independent Tom Balistreri 33,531 13.34%
Independent Dean Gagnon 15,261 6.07%
Independent Julie Theis 6,783 2.70%
Write-ins 458 0.18%
Total votes 251,328 100.0%

See also


  1. ^ Marley, Patrick; Beck, Molly (August 14, 2018). "Wisconsin primary: Democrat Tony Evers beats GOP Gov. Scott Walker in November". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  2. ^ Tomsyck, Teymour (October 12, 2018). "NRA campaign ad mispronounces name of Walker opponent Evers". WISC-TV. Retrieved October 20, 2018. His last name rhymes with weavers.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Matthew DeFour, Wisconsin State Journal. "Tony Evers: We have to have a governor that values education".
  5. ^ "About Tony Evers". Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. November 6, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  6. ^ 'Wisconsin Blue Book 2009-2010,' Biographical Sketch of Tony Evers, p. 6.
  7. ^ "Tony Evers". The Chippewa Herald. Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. March 30, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  8. ^ "Tony Evers running for state superintendent". The Tomah Journal. Tomah, Wisconsin. November 20, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  9. ^ Derby, Samara Kalk (April 1, 2009). "A quiet race, the Evers-Fernandez face-off for Superintendent generates little interest". The Capital Times. Madison, Wisconsin: Madison. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  10. ^ "Tony Evers wins state Superintendent seat, defeats Pridemore". Fox 6. April 3, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  11. ^ Rodriguez, Aaron. "Breaking News on Tony Evers". The Hispanic Conservative. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  12. ^ "DPI chief Evers agrees to fine". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. October 5, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  13. ^ "State Superintendent Fined for Campaign Solicitation". WTMJ 4 NBC Milwaukee. Archived from the original on October 8, 2009. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  14. ^ Times, Steven Elbow | The Capital. "Tony Evers proposes 10-fold increase in school mental health funding". Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  15. ^ "Developing Agreements between Local Education Agencies and American Indian Nations and Tribal Communities" (PDF).
  16. ^ "Fair Funding for Our Future - FAQ". Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. November 10, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  17. ^ "Fair Funding for Our Future". Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. November 10, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  18. ^ Meyerhofer, Kelly. "Tony Evers calls for nearly $1.7 billion hike in state funding for K-12 schools". Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  19. ^ "News Releases". Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  20. ^ "Accomplishments". Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. September 24, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  21. ^ Opoien, Jessie (August 23, 2017). "Wisconsin schools superintendent Tony Evers launches campaign for governor". The Capital Times.
  22. ^ Johnson, Shawn (August 28, 2017). "Evers Campaign Ad Hits Walker on Foxconn". Wisconsin Public Radio News.
  23. ^ DeFour, Matthew (August 14, 2018). "It's Evers: State schools superintendent to challenge Scott Walker in November". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  24. ^ a b c d e Journal, Mark Sommerhauser | Wisconsin State. "What would the next four years bring under Scott Walker or Tony Evers?". Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  25. ^ Journal, Matthew DeFour | Wisconsin State. "Funding for K-12 education a major fault line in governor's race". Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  26. ^ "Tony Evers challenges Gov. Walker's record on health care". WKOW. September 17, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  27. ^ Press, SCOTT BAUER Associated. "Scott Walker, Tony Evers spar over cost of Wisconsin health insurance". Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  28. ^ "Tony Evers challenges Scott Walker to drop Obamacare lawsuit". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  29. ^ "Tony Evers likely to include 'first step' to medical marijuana in his state budget". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  30. ^ "DPI About Tony Evers". Department of Public Instruction. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  31. ^ Journal, Molly Beck | Wisconsin State. "Tony Evers seeks a third term after battles with conservatives, cancer and Common Core". Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Wisconsin Governor Election Results". New York Times.
  34. ^ "Wisconsin Primary Election Results". The New York Times. August 15, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  35. ^ "Canvass Results for 2018 Partisan Primary - 8/14/2018" (PDF). Wisconsin Elections Commission. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  36. ^ "Canvass Results for 2017 Spring Election - 4/4/2017" (PDF). Wisconsin State Elections Board. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  37. ^ "Ward by Ward Report State Superintendent of Public Instruction - 04/02/2013" (PDF). Wisconsin State Elections Board. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  38. ^ "Results of Spring General Election - 04/07/2009" (PDF). Wisconsin State Elections Board. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  39. ^ "Results of Spring Primary Election - 02/17/2009" (PDF). Wisconsin State Elections Board. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  40. ^ "Results of Spring Primary Election - 02/20/2001" (PDF). Wisconsin State Elections Board. Retrieved 2019-02-12.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Elizabeth Burmaster
Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction
Succeeded by
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Preceded by
Scott Walker
Governor of Wisconsin
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mary Burke
Democratic nominee for Governor of Wisconsin
Most recent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Pence
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Wisconsin
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in which event is held
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Otherwise Nancy Pelosi
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
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Kim Reynolds
as Governor of Iowa
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Wisconsin
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Gavin Newsom
as Governor of California