As we continue our “Get to Know a Freshman” series, we again bring you information on five incoming legislators. With one of the largest freshman classes ever in the Wisconsin Legislature, it may be harder to get to know the newly elected senators and representatives.
This week, Political Tidbits highlights the following new legislators: State Representatives Robert Brooks, Nancy Vander Meer, Beth Meyers, Romaine Quinn and Lisa Subeck. For the 2015-2016 Wisconsin Legislature, the State Senate has seven new senators (five Republican, two Democrat), and the State Assembly has 25 new representatives (18 Republican, seven Democrat).
State Representative Robert Brooks (R)
State Representative Robert Brooks (R) is the new state representative for the 60th Assembly District, a district located on the shores of Lake Michigan, north of the Milwaukee metro area, including the cities of Port Washington, Cedarburg and Grafton. The 60th was previously represented by current 20th Senate District Candidate Duey Stroebel, who at the time gave up the 60th to run for Congress. Brooks won the Republican spot on the ticket 58-42 during the August primary and was unopposed in the General Election.
State Representative Robert Brooks of Saukville is a small businessman and county government official. He founded and operates a real estate brokerage and management company. Brooks was elected to the Ozaukee County Board in 2002, and served as chairman until 2013. He also served on the South Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and was an original member of the Board of Directors for the Stars and Strives Honor Flight organization.
2015-2016 Committee Assignments: Colleges and Universities (Vice chair); Aging and Long-Term Care; Children and Families; Education; Environment and Forestry; Housing and Real Estate
State Representative Nancy Vander Meer (R)
State Representative Nancy Vander Meer (R) was elected to represent the 70th Assembly District after winning one of the most competitive races this election season. Vander Meer beat incumbent Amy Sue Vruwink (D) 53-47 on election night. The 70th district covers a large portion of central Wisconsin, including parts of Portage, Wood, Jackson and Monroe counties, encompassing the city of Tomahawk, and Sparta, and Fort McCoy.
Vander Meer currently runs Vander Meer Motor Company in Tomah and helps her husband operate the family dairy farm. She also has served on the Board of Directors of the Tomah Chamber of Commerce and the Executive Board for Tomah Memorial Hospital.
2015-2016 Committee Assignments: Veterans and Military Affairs (Vice chair); Agriculture; Consumer Protection; Mental Health Reform; Mining and Rural Development; Small Business Development; Veterans and Military Affairs
State Representative Beth Meyers (D)
State Representative Beth Meyers (D) was elected to represent the 74th Assembly District this November, take the place of now State Senator Janet Bewley. The 74th covers a large portion of northcentral Wisconsin includes Bayfield, Iron, Price, Douglas, and Sawyer county, and most of Wisconsin’s Lake Superior shoreline. Meyers won the district seat on Election Day by a 14-point lead.
Meyers spent many years working for non-profit and family services organizations. She has worked with the Red Cliff Tribe as a Family Services Division Chief; executive director of a community based non-profit serving seniors in northern Wisconsin; and spent some time with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Wisconsin. Meyers has also served on the Bayfield County Board of Supervisors, and has held many committee positions in that role, including the Sheriff’s Committee, Tribal-County Relations Committee and Executive Committee.
2015-2016 Committee Assignments: Aging and Long-Term Care; Tourism; Transportation
State Representative Romaine Quinn (R)
State Representative Romaine Quinn (R) is representing the 75th Assembly District, an area that includes parts of Washburn, Dunn, St. Croix, Polk, and Barron counties in northwestern Wisconsin. To gain the seat, Quinn beat incumbent Stephen Smith (D) by a 10 point margin in the general election.
Quinn, the youngest legislator in Wisconsin at age 24, began his political career at age 19 as a member of the City Council; in 2010 he was elected Mayor of Rice Lake. He is also a salesman at Viking Coca-Cola in Rice Lake.
2015-2016 Committee Assignments: Aging and Long-Term Care (Vice chair); Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage (Vice chair); Colleges and Universities; Education; Mining and Rural Development
State Representative Lisa Subeck (D)
State Representative Lisa Subeck (D) represents the 78th Assembly District. The district, which opened up after former State Representative Brett Hulsey ran for governor, covers the west side of Madison between Middleton and Verona. Subeck was unopposed on Election Day.
Subeck has worked with a number of non-profits and early childhood education programs including: NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, Wisconsin Head Start Association, YWCA Madison, and United Wisconsin. She also served as State Chairwoman for Democratic Municipal Officials and was on the Executive Board of the Democratic Party of Dane County. Subeck was elected to Madison City Council in 2011 and has served on the city’s budget committee, as well as many others.
2015-2016 Committee Assignments: Children and Families; Family Law; Health; Public Benefit Reform; Urban and Local Affairs
Learn about the rest of this session’s freshman legislators:
Week 2: State Senators Bewley and Nass; State Representatives Brostoff and Steffen
Week 3: State Senators Marklein and Roth; State Representatives Brandtjen and Spreitzer
Week 4: State Senator Van Wanggaard; State Representatives Katsma, Vorpagel, Jarchow and Horlacher