Mark Pocan

Mark Pocan
Mark Pocan
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 78th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 1999
Preceded by Tammy Baldwin
Personal details
Born August 14, 1964 (1964-08-14) (age 47)
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Political party Democratic
Domestic partner Philip Frank
Residence Madison, Wisconsin
Alma mater University of Wisconsin, Madison
Occupation business owner
Website MarkPocan.net

Mark Pocan is a Democratic Party member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, first elected to represent the 78th district in 1998. He represents parts of downtown Madison and his district includes the Wisconsin State Capitol. In September 2011, Pocan announced that he would seek election to replace Democratic U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin as the next member of Congress from Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district.

Contents

Early life and career

Pocan attended Mary D. Bradford High School in Kenosha. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1986.

Political career

In 1991, Pocan was elected to the first of three terms on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. He left the board in 1996.

In 1998, Tammy Baldwin, then a state representative from the 78th district, mounted a successful bid for Congress. Pocan ran to succeed her in the state legislature and won a three-way Democratic primary with 54% of the vote. He faced no Republican opponent in the general election and defeated an independent, polling 15,828 votes (93%) to his opponent's 1,251 (7%). He has been re-elected biennially ever since, including in 2008 when he faced no opposition. In 2010, he faced no opponent.

During his time as a state legislator, Pocan has consistently earned a reputation for moving the Wisconsin political debate to the left. One of the most outspoken progressive members of the state assembly, Pocan has focused on difficult issues including corrections reform, the state budget, education funding, and fighting privatization schemes.

Pocan is currently the Assembly Chair of the Joint Committee on Finance, and serves on the Joint Legislative Council and the Joint Committee on Audit within the Assembly.

Other organizations

Pocan identifies as a progressive Democrat, and is a member of a number of organizations, including Wisconsin Citizens Action, the American Civil Liberties Union, Fair Wisconsin and Midwest Progressive Elected Officials Network.

He is a member of the AFL-CIO, which he joined as a small business owner. Pocan owns and still operates a small specialty printing company, Budget Signs & Specialties.[1]

Personal life

Pocan was born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He attended Harvey Elementary, Washington Junior High, and graduated from Mary D. Bradford High School in 1982. Pocan is notable for being the only openly gay member of the state assembly and is one of only two gay members of the Wisconsin State Legislature,[1] alongside Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee).

He has been an active participant in the ongoing debate regarding same-sex marriage in Wisconsin, though the state has approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

On November 24, 2006, Pocan and his long-term partner, Philip Frank, were legally married in Toronto, Ontario.[2] The marriage is not legally recognized in Wisconsin.

Mark Pocan's brother William Pocan serves as a circuit court judge in Milwaukee County.[3]

Recognition

Pocan has received the following recognition while in office:

  • Environmental Decade award
  • ACLU Special Recognition award
  • Outreach Man of the Year
  • Teachers State Employee Council Representative of the Year

References

External links


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