Six of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates and one surrogate for a candidate will attend the annual Door County Democratic Pie Party at 2:30 pm Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion in the Village of Egg Harbor.
Candidates in attendance will include:
Matt Flynn: A 70-year-old retired commercial litigation partner with Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee. He served as chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin from 1981 to 1985, and mounted several unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Forwardwithflynn.com.
Andy Gronik: A 60-year-old Milwaukee businessman and political newcomer, Gronik has touted his credentials as the founder of a company that advises businesses looking to expand. He has been a vocal critic of the state’s $3 billion incentive package for Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn. Andygronik.com.
Bob Harlow: A 25-year-old who grew up in Barneveld and returned to Wisconsin in August after graduating from Stanford University with a physics degree. He lost a primary election for Congress in California last year and was the first declared Democratic candidate in the Wisconsin governor’s race. Bobharlow.net.
Kelda Helen Roys: A 38-year-old who represented Madison in the state Assembly for four years after winning a six-way primary in 2008. She left her seat in 2012 to mount a Congressional campaign, eventually losing to fellow Madison Democrat Mark Pocan. She went on to become the CEO and founder of real estate tech company OpenHomes. Keldaforgovernor.com.
Paul Soglin: The 72-year-old serial mayor of Madison has served three stints as mayor of the capital, 1973-79, 1989-97 and 2011 to the present. In between his political career, Soglin worked in the private sector. He is the oldest of the 15 Democratic candidates. paulsoglinforgovernor.com
Dana Wachs: A 60-year-old attorney and state representative from Eau Claire, Wachs launched his campaign in August, pitching himself as an “advocate for regular folks.” Danawachs.com.
A surrogate for candidate Mike McCabe is also coming to the pie event. McCabe, 56, is the former head of the campaign finance watchdog Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. He founded the nonprofit group Blue Jean Nation in 2015 with the goal of restructuring the priorities of the country’s political parties. McCabe ran as a Democrat against now-Congressman Mark Pocan for the state Assembly in 1998, but also worked for three Republican legislators. Governorbluejeans.com.
At the event, each candidate will be given five minutes to introduce themselves and make a statement. After that, questions that are submitted by the audience will be presented to the candidates by a moderator so each person gets an equal opportunity to respond and be heard.
The Pie Party is open to all interested. Admission is $10 plus a pie per family. However, anyone who cannot afford admission may attend. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at secure.actblue.com/donate/18pie.
Other Democratic Candidates
In addition to the candidates attending Sunday’s event, the following Democratic candidates also are running and have paid campaign staff:
Tony Evers: The 65-year-old state Superintendent of Public Instruction announced his candidacy in August. Evers won his third statewide victory since 2009 in April. Tonyevers.com.
Mahlon Mitchell: The 40-year-old president of the Professional Firefighters Association of Wisconsin. Mahlonmitchell.com.
Kathleen Vinehout: The 59-year-old state Senator from Alma announced her plans to run for governor in September. She had intended to run for governor in 2014, but a traffic accident changed her plans. Vinehout was the guest at the 8th annual Pie Party in 2013. Her Senate seat is up for election in 2018. Kathleenvinehout.org.
And for those keeping score, here are the remainder of Democrats who have declared for the governor’s race:
Michele Doolan: A 43-year-old hair salon owner and PTO president from Cross Plains. She launched her campaign in August, and has raised $700 of a $200,000 goal on the Crowdpac fundraising website. Teamdoolanforwisconsin.com.
Dave Heaster: The 51-year-old describes himself on Twitter as a “retired eCommerce geek.” He ran unsuccessfully against Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner in 2012. twitter.com/davidheaster.
Andrew Lust: Lust is a political newcomer. He has not raised any money toward a $30 million donation goal on a GoFundMe page. His campaign committee is registered as Lust for Wisconsin. Gofundme.com/g84m6eg8wf3k.
Jeff Rumbaugh: A 45-year-old Madison resident who works with adults with disabilities. Jeffrumbaughforgovernor.com.
Ramona Whiteaker: A 59-year-old photographer and motel front desk clerk from Stoughton. Committeetoelect.weebly.com.