Friday, April 28, 2017

candidate info for dpw/dnc elections

Candidates for Executive Offices of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and the Democratic National Committee.
Please note that not all candidates have the same online or social media outlets.  Also, not all candidates have prepared bio's and statements which could be found at the time of this compilation.

DPW Chairperson candidates.

Candidates listed in alphabetical order.  Biographies and basic information on all four candidates is available from this link to the DPW's website:

Joe Donovan - Link to his Facebook page:

Candidate biography:
Joe grew up on a small, family owned, dairy farm in Marinette County. Graduated from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin with a degree in Business & Economics.   The Donovan family was very active in Democratic politics. "I campaigned hard with my father for John F. Kennedy putting up yard signs and Knocking on doors when I was eleven years old". Joe served as an officer in the Marinette County Party and Democratic nominee for the (then) 88th Assembly District of Wisconsin. Moved to Milwaukee and served as Chair of the Milwaukee County West Side Democrats.   

 Co-founded an (Employee Owned) company (Donovan & Jorgenson) in Waukesha County in 1985 with a mission to conserve energy and reduce pollution by promoting and installing solar systems, heat pumps and high efficiency furnaces. Served as president and executive director from 1985 to 2016 doing everything necessary to grow the business to 70+ employees and more than 50,000 customers (largest residential HVAC provider in Wisconsin) . Joe retired early and will work full-time as the Chair of the DPW  for the 2017-2019 term.

Eric Finch - Link to webpage:   Link to his Facebook page:

Candidate biography:
Eric Finch represents new progressive leadership for Wisconsin.

Eric earned his BA in political science from the University of Washington by twenty and received a full scholarship to law school at Washington University in St. Louis. He went on to receive a second law degree in Intellectual Property and Technology Law.

After law school, Eric was a community organizer in Seattle. He later followed his wife’s career to Madison, volunteering for Tammy Baldwin in last two months of the 2012 campaign before moving back to Washington State to practice law. As an attorney, Eric took on big banks, advised non-profit organizations through tough times, and more. Eric returned to Wisconsin again for his wife’s career in 2014, taking a sabbatical from law practice to organize for the DPW, where he saw many areas that needed improvement.

Since then, Eric has worked on complex real estate transactions as an attorney and been an in-house lawyer for a world-class manufacturer that manufactures in USA, is committed to sustainability, and has moved toward an employee-owned model. Over the last year, he's been working on software projects, helping on campaigns, and serving clients with family & employment law issues, particularly within the LGBTQ+ community.

Bryan Kennedy - Link to webpage:  Link to his Facebook 

Candidate biography:
Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy’s Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) involvement spans more than fifteen years. After completing his Ph.D. in Latin American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000, Bryan took a faculty position at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he taught until 2011. Shortly after moving to Wisconsin, he joined his union and the DPW.

At his core, Bryan is a grassroots organizer. When he was in graduate school, he was part of a union organizing effort of graduate assistants at the University of North Carolina. After joining the UWM faculty, he helped sign dozens of new members to his local union.
From 2007-2013, Bryan served as state president of American Federation of Teachers — Wisconsin. He turned the union into an organizing union by hiring five organizers and opening an Organizing Department. Under his leadership, AFT—Wisconsin experienced the largest expansion of new locals in their recent history —  eight successful collective bargaining elections on seven UW campuses in less than a year.
Elected Mayor of Glendale in 2015, Kennedy has also served for almost a decade on the Glendale-River Hills School Board. Kennedy was the Democratic nominee against Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner in 2004 and 2006.

Martha Laning - Link to webpage: Link to Facebook

Candidate biography:
Martha Laning grew up in a middle-class family in rural Central Wisconsin. Her parents instilled values of education, hard work, and the importance of giving back through volunteering. 

After high school, Martha earned a Business Accounting degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked at the local paper mill during summer vacation to pay for her education. In 2002, she obtained a Master’s in Business Administration.

At UW-Madison, Martha met her husband Wayne. They married in 1990 and have three beautiful children, Katie, Maddie, and Alec. Martha’s family motivated her interest in community service and desire to do more by leading the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Martha has served as a full-time chairperson of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin since June 2015 and, in that time, has traveled over 65,000 miles - from Superior to Kenosha - to talk to party leaders, allies, and voters across Wisconsin. She has worked to build a stronger party by empowering grassroots organizers, providing candidates with resources needed to run robust campaigns and building a stronger team that works together. 

DPW has made progress, but we have more work to do to build the infrastructure we need to win in 2018 and beyond.

1st Vice Chair candidates.

David Bowen

Link to his Twitter account: 

State Rep. David Bowen was elected to serve as 1st Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in June 2015.

Born Milwaukee, January 28, 1987; single. Graduate Bradley Tech H.S. 2005; B.A. UW-Milwaukee. Full-time legislator. Former program director. Member: Milw. Co. Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative Advisory Com.; Beyond the Bell Milwaukee (steering com.); Black Youth Project-100; Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Former member: American Legacy Foundation Activism Fellow. Milwaukee Co. Bd. of Supervisors 2012-14.

Amanda Stuck
Link to her Twitter account:

Amanda Stuck was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly's 57th District in 2014.  Born in Appleton, December 16, 1982; married; 2 children. Graduate Appleton North H.S. 2001; B.A. political science UW-Oshkosh 2007; Masters of public administration UW-Oshkosh 2012. Full-time legislator. Former housing specialist, Appleton Housing Authority; legislative aide, Cong. Steve Kagan; rural mail carrier.
Elected to Assembly 2014.

2nd Vice Chair candidates.

Mandela Barnes 

Candidate biography:
Mandela Barnes is a former State Representative of WI's 11th Assembly District, elected in 2012 as a champion of progressive values. He served on the Assembly Committees on Corrections, Education, Jobs & the Economy, and Small Business Development. He also served as the chairman of the Legislature's Black and Latino Caucus. A lifelong Milwaukee resident, he graduated from John Marshall High School and went on to Alabama A&M University, completing his studies in mass communications and sociology in 2008.

After returning to Milwaukee, Mandela became the Lead Organizer and Director for Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH), a coalition of faith-based groups advocating for social justice in the greater-Milwaukee community. He is currently the Deputy Director of Strategic Engagement for State Innovation Exchange, a national state policy network for progressive state legislators. 

Mandela has served nationally as a leader for education policy, gun violence prevention, and economic issues, and was also recognized as one of the nation's top pro-growth progressives by NewDEAL Leaders. 

His current list of endorsements for this race include, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Mayor Tom Barrett, State Representatives Eric Genrich, Daniel Riemer, and Jocasta Zamarripa.

Mandela Barnes plans to bring much needed vision to our party.

Secretary candidates.

Meg Andrietsch

Candidate biography:
Meg has spent her life in southeastern Wisconsin, growing up in Kenosha, earning her MBA, and now working tirelessly to turn Racine County blue.

Proudly coming from a union household, Meg actively served the CWA, in advancing roles as a steward, chief steward, picket captain, strike captain, and Secretary of the local.  For the Democratic Party, she has worked at all levels of the organization (County, CD, and State), doing whatever is needed to get Democrats elected throughout the county and across the ballot.

Meg started attending State Party Administrative Committee meetings in 2007 as an observer, then became an Administrative Committee alternate, and in 2010 she became DPW Secretary when her predecessor was appointed a judge.

She uses her 6.5 years of experience, plus her personal connections gained from that service, to advance the cause of Democrats throughout Wisconsin.  Meg has a deep understanding of both the role of Secretary and DPW operations, and brings that knowledge to county parties and campaigns around the state.

In her ‘spare’ time, she likes to read mysteries, watch hockey, and listen to the blues, particularly the Allman Brothers Band, and any music by her favorite musician, Warren Haynes.

Anita Klein

Candidate biography:
Anita grew up in rural Manitowoc County on a dairy farm. She and her family moved to Kiel and Sheboygan where she helped her parents run a small restaurant.  Then in 1963 the family moved to Waldo, WI where they operated a small assisted-living facility.  Anita graduated from Sheboygan Falls High School and continued her education at Lakeshore Technical College in Secretarial Science and Para-legal.  
Anita worked as a legal secretary, earning her Certified Professional Secretary designation, for several years before completing an Associate Degree as a Para-legal.  She served on the Advisory Committee for Para-legal programs for the technical schools.
In 1978 Anita met and married her husband, Peter.  Peter was a dairy farmer, a democrat, and an organizer.  Together we continued this work.  With Peter’s encouragement she became involved in local politics.  Anita was Town of Mitchell Clerk for 14 years; she ran for 27th Assembly; and she was Trustee for the Village of Waldo for six years.  Anita was co-founder and general manager of a dairy marketing co-op for 12 years.  She served on the Agricultural Advisory Committee for the Federal Reserve Board in Chicago.
Currently, Anita is completing her 4th year as Chair for the Sheboygan County Democratic Party and her 4th year as Treasurer for the 6th CD. 

DPW Treasurer candidate.

Randy Udell

Candidate biography:
Randy Udell has spent his adult life working to build a stronger, more progressive Democratic party across the state of Wisconsin.  Randy got his start in Democratic politics early on, serving as President of the Young Democrats and a Student Senator at UW-Whitewater.  In college, he signed on as an aide to United States Congressman Les Aspin – learning first-hand about community outreach, constituent service, and what it takes to run and win in a challenging Wisconsin swing district.

After settling down in the Madison area with his husband Brad, Randy began to get involved with local Democratic organizations and campaigns.  He was elected as the Chair of the 2nd Congressional District, served for 5 years as the 2nd CD Treasurer, and in 2013 was appointed to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s Administrative Committee – helping to guide and hold the organization accountable to its members.  In 2015, in recognition of his skills and leadership, Randy was unanimously elected as the state Treasurer of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. 

Throughout, Randy has been a constant mentor and advisor for county party officers, activists, and staff.  He’s helped party leaders navigate the difficult and changing world of campaign finance, worked one-on-one with county parties to ensure timely filing of reports, held one-of-a-kind trainings for county treasurers and other party financial officers, and worked to ensure accountability and transparency in the DPW budgeting process.  Thanks to his leadership, DPW continues to be on sound financial footing, in compliance with all Federal and State laws, and on pace to break numerous organizational finance goals.

Candidates for DNC slot vacated by Jason Rae.
In alphabetical order.

Luke Fuszard - Link to Facebook page:   

Candidacy statement:

My name is Luke Fuszard and I’m running to be your representative to the Democratic National Committee.

My ancestors, Charles and Caroline Fuszard, were immigrants who settled in Kenosha in 1845 - three years before Wisconsin became a state.

Because of their Catholic faith, my ancestors experienced incredible discrimination and prejudice. They were accused of being terrorists, subversives, and a whole lot worse. They had trouble finding jobs and simply being accepted for who they were.

Ultimately, there was only one organization that openly welcomed them. One group that accepted them without condition. One community that said “You belong” and that was the Democratic Party.

Inspired by my ancestors, I have tried my hardest to give back to the party that gave the Fuszards so much. I’m currently the Treasurer of the 2nd Congressional District Democrats, and the Chair of the Young Democrats of Wisconsin which works to bring young people into the party across our great state.

But the truth of the matter is that this campaign isn’t about me. It’s about you.

You - the leaders, activists and elected officials of the Democratic Party - inspire me.

You deserve a representative to the DNC who always keeps you up-to-date on what’s happening in Washington.

You deserve a representative to the DNC who will visit all country parties during their term.

You deserve a representative to the DNC who will allow you to express your opinion on every vote and major issue before the committee.

Over the next few months I look forward to meeting many of you along this journey.

Peter Peckarsky - Link to website: 

Candidate biography:
Peter is an attorney and long-time Democratic progressive activist, working primarily during elections on Voter Protection and Election Protection issues. He was born, raised, and graduated from high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received his S.B degrees in Electrical Engineering and Political Science from MIT and his law degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy placed Mr. Peckarsky's senior thesis in the Congressional Record in support of Sen. Kennedy’s opposition to the Anti-Ballistic Missile system.
Peter served as a consultant on strategic nuclear weapons forces and platforms to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and on intelligence analysis to the Director of Naval Intelligence.
As a White House Correspondent and free-lance investigative reporter, Peter reported on the financial affairs of various high level federal officials.
As an attorney, Peter is a lead trial counsel. He has participated in election law, patent, trademark, copyright, antitrust, trade secret, fraud, contract, leveraged buy-out, civil RICO, hedge fund, and securities fraud matters. His career has involved the interaction of law with scientific and technical fields including biotechnology, computer hardware and software, electrical circuits and signals, internet communications, internet devices, medical devices, microprocessors, organic chemistry, pharmaceuticals, physics, quantum mechanics, semiconductor design, semiconductor processing, statistics, and telecommunications.

Peter’s active involvement in electoral politics began when the Republicans announced their intent to prevent alleged “voter fraud”  by placing observers in green vests in Milwaukee wards with a substantial African American population. Peter (and others) suggested the state party organize lawyers to protect the vote. Since then at every general election, the critical primaries, the recalls, and some Supreme Court races Peter has participated actively in efforts to protect the vote.

Khary Penebaker - Link to website:  Link to Facebook 

Candidate biography:
Khary Penebaker is a husband, father, and successful businessman who isn’t afraid to stand up for what’s right. His strong moral values have served him well and shaped him into the tenacious leader he is today.

Penebaker has strong Southeastern Wisconsin roots, having moved to Wisconsin from Ohio as a young child. He first learned the values of determination, perseverance, and hard work from his father who, as a Senior Executive, helped establish Miller Brewing Company’s workforce diversity initiatives, breaking new ground within the Milwaukee business community.

That value of determination defined Khary during his time at Marquette University High School and later, at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee where he was a successful track and field runner and a standout student athlete. In 1998 Penebaker became the 100-meter Conference Champion as well as a 200-meter All-Conference Second Team member.

After completing his bachelor’s degree from UW-Milwaukee, he embarked upon a successful, nearly twenty-year-long career in the roofing industry. In his first five years, he jointly owned and operated Community Roofing before starting The Penebaker Enterprises, LLC Roofing and Sheet Metal Company in Milwaukee and serving as its president for the next decade.

Penebaker’s skills and go-getter attitude paid off, as the firm grew to fifty family-supporting jobs and received numerous industry awards for excellence, including the 2004 Supplier of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Supplier Development Council and the 2010 Minority Business Contractor of the Year Award from Wisconsin’s Daily Reporter.

Penebaker Enterprises completed such high-profile projects as the acclaimed $60 million Milwaukee City Hall Restoration Project. Following the turbulent Great Recession years, which dramatically changed the construction industry, Khary was hired by Metal-Era, Inc., working in several key management positions. More recently, he returned to an executive role as President of Roofed Right America, LLC.

During the 2016 election cycle, Penebaker was able to build a team of four full-time staff members that would help his US Congressional campaign raise over $120,000 from over 1,400 grassroots donors; Collected over 1600 nomination signatures; Made over 155,000 volunteer recruitment calls into the district which resulted in nearly 1,000 volunteers who have completed over 2,500 voter persuasion shifts; Interacted daily with 50,000 followers on Twitter/Facebook resulting in over 30 million impressions and was awarded Twitter and Facebook verification; Driven almost 20,000 miles to meet with voters throughout the district; Earned the support of Russ Feingold, Hillary Clinton, Herb Kohl, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Keith Ellison, and many more.

As the father of three children ranging in age from toddler to teenager, family time plays a prominent role in his life, as does his faith. He has been actively involved with education, from his own children’s educational achievements to worker skill training. Having served as a volunteer spokesperson for several crime and safety-oriented organizations, Khary Penebaker is committed to keeping our communities safe.

Khary is a proud board member of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and WAVE (Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort) and is Everytown for Gun Safety‘s WI’s Survivor Fellow.

Adam Brabender

No information available.

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