WISCONSINREPORT.COM (07/01/2009) - Small business owner and former Congressman Mark Neumann has filed paperwork to officially enter the 2010 race for Wisconsin Governor. Neumann was elected to represent the 1st Congressional District in Wisconsin in 1994 and was re-elected in 1996. Neumann ran for US Senate on the Republican ticket in 1998. 55 year old Neumann owns a home building company and is co-chairman of Educational Enterprises, a non-profit that runs three Hope Schools in Milwaukee as well as a public charter school in Arizona.
“Wisconsin finds itself at a crossroads because of the policies and spending of the Doyle administration over the last seven years,” said Neumann.
“I’m running for Governor because I believe the state’s best years are ahead of us and I want to provide a positive vision for the future of our state,” Neumann continued.
“We all know the need to put Wisconsin back to work, and over the next few months I look forward to this discussion with all Wisconsinites,” said Neumann.
Neumann was born in East Troy, Wisconsin. He has been married to Sue Neumann since 1973 and both are Lutheran. As of 2005, Neumann currently runs a real estate development firm. He lives in Nashotah, Wisconsin.
“We face many challenges in Wisconsin to get us back on track. The cornerstone of my campaign will be sensible policies that address our tax climate, business community and educational opportunities," Neumann pointed out.
Neumann graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1975, and from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 1977 with a Master of Science degree. He worked as a math teacher and started a business building homes.
Neumann decided to run for the House of Representatives as a Republican in 1992. He faced Congressman Les Aspin and lost by a large margin, while spending $700,000. Aspin was appointed Secretary of Defense by President Clinton in 1993 and Neumann ran in a special election for the seat, losing narrowly to Peter Barca. He was persuaded to run again in 1994 and this time, he defeated Barca by 1,120 votes.
“It has been over 50 years since Wisconsin has experienced job losses like we have seen in the past 12 months,” Neumann added while announcing his bid for Governor of Wisconsin.
As a U.S. Congressional Representative from Wisconsin Neumann was assigned to the powerful Appropriations committee. This assignment did not work out, as Neumann disapproved of pork-barrel projects, even for his own district. Neumann also wrote his own version of the budget, which would produce a balanced budget by 1999. Bob Livingston reportedly kicked him off of the Appropriations committee after he proposed an amendment requiring congressional approval of troop deployment to Bosnia. Neumann won re-election by 4,260 votes in a close 1996 race against Lydia Spottswood.
Neumann voted present in the election for Speaker of the House in 1997, instead of voting for Newt Gingrich.
In September 1997, Neumann announced his candidacy for the United States Senate against Russell Feingold. Both candidates had similar views on the budget surplus, although Neumann was for banning partial-birth abortion while Feingold was against a ban.
Both Feingold and Neumann limited themselves to $3.8 million in campaign spending ($1 for every citizen of Wisconsin), although outside groups spent more than $2 million on Neumann; Feingold refused to have outside groups spend their own 'soft money' on his behalf.
Feingold defeated Neumann by a slim 2 percent margin in the election. Neumann had a 30,000 vote margin outside Milwaukee County, but was overwhelmed by a 68,000 vote margin in Milwaukee County.
Despite speculation that Neumann might run against Senator Herb Kohl or Governor Jim Doyle, he did not choose to seek elective office during the 2006 election cycle. He had considered a run for Governor, but did not enter the race in deference to Scott Walker, who withdrew in favor of former Congressman Mark Green.
Neumann thinks now is the time to run for Wisconsin Governor.
“I am a small business owner who understands job creation drives our economy, and I’m running to attract jobs back to Wisconsin,” Neumann explained.
Mark Neumann and Sue are lifelong Wisconsin residents and small business owners. They have been active in both public education and in the school choice and charter movement.
Mark has also served on the Board of Regents at Wisconsin Lutheran College, and through his philanthropic giving provided the resources for the construction of one of their athletic fields.
Most recently Neumann Developments, Inc. was featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in an article featuring an energy-producing home they have developed.
Mark and his wife Sue are the parents of Andrew, Tricia and Matthew. The Nuemanns have three grandchildren.