Walker Team Reflects Geographic Mix

MacIver News Service | December 30, 2010

Drawing individuals from communities across Wisconsin from West Salem to Superior to Green Bay to Racine, Governor-Elect Walker broke the typical Madison-Milwaukee base in selecting his incoming cabinet.

“I am excited that these top notch individuals have agreed to serve the State of Wisconsin as members of my cabinet,” said Walker. “This diverse group will join me in public service to help reshape government so that our state can efficiently provide the basic level of core government services taxpayers expect and deserve.”

Mike Huebsch, former Assembly Speaker from West Salem, will serve as the Secretary of Administration.

“I’m looking forward to working with Governor?elect Walker and the fantastic cabinet he has chosen. The individuals he has appointed understand the challenge we have before us and are ready to get Wisconsin working again,” said Huebsch.

Paul Jadin, Green Bay Chamber of Commerce President and former Green Bay Mayor, will helm the soon to be revamped Department of Commerce.  Walker plans on replacing the department with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).  Under Walker’s plan WEDC would review the DOC’s current duties and responsibilities and either reassign them to other agencies or eliminate them.  If the legislature approves Walker’s plan, Jadin will become the WEDC’s “Chief Executive Officer.”

Dave Ross, Mayor of Superior, will join the cabinet as the Secretary of the Department of Regulation and Licensing.

Ben Brancel, from Marquette County, will be the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.  He held this same office under Governor Tommy Thompson.  Brancel is a fifth-generation farmer and a former Assembly Speaker.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to once again serve the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection community and work alongside Governor-elect Walker to grow Wisconsin’s economy,” said Brancel.

Cathy Stepp, from Racine County, will be the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.  Stepp has served on the Natural Resources Board, the State Senator for the 21st District, and as Co-Chair of the Environmental and Natural Resources Committee.

Walker also named two individuals from out of state.  Dennis Smith will be the new Secretary of the Department of Health Services.  He comes from Virginia and currently works at the Heritage Foundation.  He served as the head of the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during the Bush Administration.

Wyman Wynston will be the new Executive Director of WHEDA.  He previously was a manager of the agency.  Wynston comes most recently from Atlanta, where he serves as a senior commercial TAD manager in the Atlanta Development Authority.

Of course, Milwaukee and Madison aren’t completely out of the picture in Walker’s incoming cabinet.

Mark Gottlieb, former Port Washington mayor, will be the Secretary of Transportation.  The Secretary of the Department of Financial Institutions will be Peter Bildsten, from Madison.  Gary Hamblin, former Dane County Sheriff, will be the Secretary of the Department of Corrections.  Eloise Anderson, incoming Secretary of the Department of Children and Families, has worked in California, Madison and Milwaukee.

Walker also named Rick Chandler as Secretary of the Department of Revenue, Stephanie Klett as Secretary of Tourism, and Manuel “Manny” Perez as Secretary of Workforce Development.