Josh Kaul, attorney in Madison and son of former state Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, announced on Monday, April 10 that he will challenge Brad Schimel for his position as Wisconsin Attorney General. The election will be held on November 6, 2018. Lautenschlager resigned from her position with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission on Friday, April 7 before Kaul’s campaign announcement. Kaul is the first Democrat to announce plans to run against current Republican incumbent Schimel.
Josh Kaul grew up in Oshkosh and Fond du Lac, WI, going on to attend Stanford Law School. Kaul worked as a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, MA before becoming an associate in Washington, D.C. He later became a federal prosecutor in Baltimore, MA before joining Perkins Coie LLP in Madison, WI. His practice at Perkins Coie included representing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her 2016 presidential campaign.
Current Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced his plans to seek re-election for another four-year term in December 2017. A former Waukesha County district attorney, Schimel is serving in his first term as state Attorney General after defeating Democrat Susan Happ in 2014. Schimel has been very active in his first two plus years, frequently defending legislation passed by the GOP legislative majority.
In his statement announcing his campaign, Kaul stated, “We deserve an attorney general who is focused on protecting Wisconsin families, not on partisan politics.” The Republican Party of Wisconsin defended Schimel, releasing a statement that said, “Attorney General Brad Schimel has fought for Wisconsin families by improving public safety, upholding the rule of law, and stopping federal overreach from Washington.”