|47th Mayor of Green Bay, Wisconsin|
April 1, 2003 – April 15, 2019
|Preceded by||Paul Jadin|
|Succeeded by||Eric Genrich|
|Born||June 7, 1958|
Two Rivers, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Residence||Green Bay, Wisconsin|
|Alma mater||St. Norbert College (B.A.)|
James J. Schmitt (born June 7, 1958) is an American politician and businessman from Wisconsin. A Republican, Schmitt served as the mayor of Green Bay, Wisconsin, from 2003 to 2019, becoming the city's longest-serving mayor.
The fourth of 11 children born to James and Mary (née Gleichner) Schmitt in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, he attended Roncalli High School and St. Norbert College He is an active Roman Catholic, and his brother went into the religious life.
In 2011 he was recognized by the Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial board as Person of the Year.
In the private sector, Schmitt was president of Famis Manufacturing Inc. and in 1997 received the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Schmitt served two consecutive terms on the Brown County Board of Supervisors.[when?] On April 1, 2003 he was elected the 41st mayor of Green Bay, Wisconsin, succeeding Paul Jadin who had not sought re-election.
In 2007, Schmitt was re-elected with 70% of the vote and won again in April 2011. He serves on the Advisory Board of both the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.
On February 17, 2015, Schmitt received 51 percent of the vote in a three-way primary. He went on to defeat Tom DeWane 53% to 47%. With this victory, Schmitt extended his tenure to 16 years and overtook Sam Halloin as the longest-serving mayor in Green Bay history.
In January 2015, Green Bay city council Aldermen Chris Wery, Guy Zima, and Andy Nicholson alleged that Schmitt accepted as much as $10,000 in illegal donations for his mayoral campaign. Schmitt contended that the errors were not intentional, and handed his records over to the Brown County District Attorney and the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board to be audited. Because of a potential conflict of interest, the Brown County District Attorney turned the records over to the Milwaukee County District Attorney.
In September 2016, Schmitt agreed to plead guilty as part of a plea agreement to three misdemeanor charges, including false statements to an election official, accepting campaign contributions not belonging to the reported contributor, and accepting campaign contributions in excess of state limits. He was subsequently convicted on these criminal charges and sentenced to a monetary forfeiture and community service.
It was found that 17 individuals had donated more than the $1,040 contribution limit, and there were two corporate donations, which are illegal under state election laws.
On February 20, 2017, the Common Council held a vote on the removal of Schmitt over campaign finance violations. While a majority of the 12 member board voted for removal, 9 votes were necessary to remove the mayor from office. As only 8 voted for removal, he retained his seat by one vote.
James J. Schmitt married Dona Degenhardt on May 26, 1990. They have three daughters and had one child who died in infancy.