Like most Wisconsin residents, I woke up this morning to learn that Tony Evers, a member of the UW System Board of Regents and state schools superintendent, had squeaked out a victory in his gubernatorial race.
I have gotten to know Gov.-elect Evers well during my four-plus years as chancellor, as well as during my six years as president of the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. I would like to publicly congratulate Gov.-elect Evers on his win and assure him that I and my administration will do everything possible to help him make a successful transition to the governor’s office and to achieve the higher education agenda he lays out.
I also would like to congratulate those who won legislative elections in western Wisconsin, including state Rep. Rob Stafsholt, who represents UW-Stout. I have developed a good working relationship with Rep. Stafsholt during his first term in the Assembly and look forward to working closely with him, and all our local legislators, during the 2019-21 legislative session.
We are heading into a budget year, which means that a lot of our time will be devoted to working with the new governor and legislators to ensure they are aware of our priorities.
Impressive voter turnout by UW-Stout students
Maybe the biggest winner Tuesday in Wisconsin, however, was the electorate. Nearly 2.7 million people voted Tuesday, a record for a midterm election in Wisconsin.
In Menomonie, voting increased 22.4 percent in Wards 5 and 7, which are dominated by UW-Stout students who vote in the Memorial Student Center. In the 2014 midterm election, 589 votes were cast for governor, and that increased to 721 this year.
A group of students and dedicated faculty members worked tirelessly to increase student voter turnout this year, and it worked. I even got in the act by helping register students to vote on two occasions.
I want to thank and congratulate the Stout Votes! group and everyone who helped increase student voter participation this year. Voting really is democracy in action!