Robert Cowles
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 2nd district
Assumed office
April 21, 1987
Preceded byDon Hanaway
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 6th district
In office
January 7, 1985 – April 21, 1987
Preceded byGus Menos
Succeeded byJames R. Charneski
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 75th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 7, 1985
Preceded byPatricia Spafford Smith
Succeeded byMary Hubler
Personal details
Born
Robert L. Cowles III

(1950-07-31) July 31, 1950 (age 70)
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceAllouez, Wisconsin
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Green Bay

Robert L. Cowles III (born July 31, 1950) is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 2nd District since 1987. In August 2011, Cowles faced a recall election, but defeated the Democratic challenger, Nancy Nusbaum, 60 percent to 40 percent.[1]

Early life and education

Cowles was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay in 1975. He was formerly a director of an alternative energy division for a communications construction company.[2]

Political career

Elections

Cowles was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1982 and re-elected until 1986 when he resigned to run for the state Senate.[2] He was first elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in a special election in April 1987.[2] He ran unopposed in 2008 and 2012, and beat his opponent 65 percent to 35 percent in 2016.

Recall effort

See also: Wisconsin Senate recall elections, 2011

Cowles supported Governor Walker's budget repair bill, including the section that removed collective bargaining. As a result, Cowles was subject to a recall effort as part of the 2011 Wisconsin protests. On March 2, 2011, the "Committee to Recall Cowles" registered with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.[3] On April 28, roughly 26,000 signatures to recall Cowles were filed with the Government Accountability Board. In late May 2011, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board verified petitions against Cowles.[4] The recall election was held on August 9, 2011, with Cowles defeating the Democratic challenger, Nancy Nusbaum, 60 percent to 40 percent.[1]

Committee assignments

Cowles chairs the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, Co-Chairs the Joint Committee on Audit, sits on the Senate Committee on Transportation and Veterans Affairs, and is the Ranking Member on the Joint Committee on Information Policy and Technology.

Electoral history

Wisconsin Assembly (1982-1986)

Wisconsin Assembly, 75th District Election, 1982[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Primary Election, September 14, 1982
Democratic Joel Edler 3,553 47.65%
Republican Robert L. Cowles III 1,960 26.28%
Republican J. Roger Dernbach 1,368 18.35%
Republican Phyllis J. Kates 576 7.72%
Total votes '7,457' '100.0%'
General Election, November 2, 1982
Republican Robert L. Cowles III 9,235 56.71%
Democratic Joel Edler 7,049 43.29%
Total votes '16,284' '100.0%'
Republican gain from Democratic
Wisconsin Assembly, 6th District Election, 1984[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Primary Election, September 11, 1984
Republican Robert L. Cowles III 3,492 49.86%
Democratic Gregory J. Kirschling 2,121 30.28%
Republican Dudley D. Birder, Jr. 1,391 19.86%
Total votes '7,004' '100.0%'
General Election, November 6, 1984
Republican Robert L. Cowles III 13,876 64.93%
Democratic Gregory J. Kirschling 7,495 35.07%
Total votes '21,371' '100.0%'
Republican gain from Democratic
Wisconsin Assembly, 6th District Election, 1986[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Primary Election, September 9, 1986
Democratic Daniel L. Olejniczak 2,230 53.04%
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 1,974 46.96%
Total votes '4,204' '100.0%'
General Election, November 4, 1986
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 11,398 67.30%
Democratic Daniel L. Olejniczak 5,539 32.70%
Total votes '16,937' '100.0%' -20.75%
Republican hold

Wisconsin Senate (1987-2016)

Wisconsin Senate, 2nd District Special Election, 1987[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Primary Election, February 17, 1987
Republican Robert L. Cowles III 7,545 35.68%
Republican Cathy Zeuske 6,899 32.62%
Democratic Rosemary Hinkfuss 2,945 13.93%
Republican Herbert Sandmire 2,046 9.67%
Republican William J. Rogers 1,713 8.10%
Total votes '21,148' '100.0%'
General Election, April 7, 1987
Republican Robert L. Cowles III 23,297 55.46%
Democratic Rosemary Hinkfuss 18,713 44.54%
Total votes '42,010' '100.0%'
Republican hold
Wisconsin Senate, 2nd District Election, 1988[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Primary Election, September 13, 1988
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 8,932 50.50%
Democratic Frederick C. Thurston 8,754 49.50%
Total votes '17,686' '100.0%'
General Election, November 8, 1988
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 37,028 59.35%
Democratic Frederick C. Thurston 25,361 40.65%
Total votes '62,389' '100.0%' +48.51%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Senate, 2nd District Election, 1992[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Primary Election, September 8, 1992
Democratic Patricia J. Buss 8,775 51.61%
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 8,227 48.39%
Total votes '17,002' '100.0%'
General Election, November 3, 1992
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 40,570 58.05% -1.31%
Democratic Patricia J. Buss 29,324 41.95%
Total votes '69,894' '100.0%' +12.03%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Senate, 2nd District Election, 1996[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Primary Election, September 10, 1996
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 10,739 66.29%
Democratic Patricia J. Buss 5,461 33.71%
Total votes '16,200' '100.0%'
General Election, November 5, 1996
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 40,467 62.92% +4.87%
Democratic Patricia J. Buss 23,849 37.08%
Total votes '64,316' '100.0%' -7.98%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Senate, 2nd District Election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Primary Election, September 12, 2000[11]
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 16,239 99.85%
Write-ins 24 0.15%
Total votes '16,263' '100.0%'
General Election, November 7, 2000[12]
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 55,223 99.62%
Write-ins 211 0.38%
Total votes '55,434' '100.0%' -20.69%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Senate, 2nd District Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Primary Election, September 14, 2004[13]
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 12,884 99.42%
Libertarian Roy Leyendecker 28 0.22%
Write-ins 47 0.36%
Total votes '12,959' '100.0%'
General Election, November 2, 2004[14]
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 60,546 89.13%
Libertarian Roy Leyendecker 7,288 10.73%
Write-ins 95 0.14%
Total votes '67,929' '100.0%' +22.54%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Senate, 2nd District Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Primary Election, September 9, 2008[15]
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 5,351 98.47%
Write-ins 83 1.53%
Total votes '5,434' '100.0%'
General Election, November 4, 2008[16]
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 60,507 99.35%
Write-ins 393 0.65%
Total votes '60,900' '100.0%' -10.35%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Senate, 2nd District Recall Election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Primary Election, July 12, 2011[17]
Democratic Nancy J. Nusbaum 14,197 65.04%
Democratic Otto Junkermann 7,578 34.72%
Write-ins 54 0.25%
Total votes '21,829' '100.0%'
General Election, August 9, 2011[18]
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 27,037 57.44%
Democratic Nancy J. Nusbaum 19,974 42.43%
Write-ins 62 0.13%
Total votes '47,073' '100.0%' -22.70%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Senate, 2nd District Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Primary Election, August 14, 2012[19]
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 16,287 99.46%
Write-ins 89 0.54%
Total votes '16,376' '100.0%'
General Election, November 6, 2012[20]
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 64,192 98.54%
Write-ins 951 1.46%
Total votes '65,143' '100.0%' +38.39%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Senate, 2nd District Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Primary Election, August 9, 2016[21]
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 11,168 71.99%
Democratic John N. Powers 4,323 27.87%
Write-ins 23 0.15%
Total votes '15,514' '100.0%'
General Election, November 8, 2016[22]
Republican Robert L. Cowles III (incumbent) 57,269 65.00%
Democratic John N. Powers 30,796 34.95%
Write-ins 44 0.05%
Total votes '88,109' '100.0%' +35.25%
Republican hold

References

  1. ^ a b Barbour, Clay and Mary Spicuzza. "Republicans hold off Dems in recalls, win enough seats to keep majority in Senate", Wisconsin State Journal, August 10, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Julie Pohlman (ed.) State of Wisconsin 2015-2016 Blue Book. Madison: Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, 2015, p. 22.
  3. ^ "Committee to Recall Cowles". Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. March 9, 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
  4. ^ "GAB certifies recalls for Cowles, Darling and Harsdorf | Ballotnews". Ballotnews.org. 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-27.
  5. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1983-1984 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 891, 912. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  6. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1985-1986 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 906, 925. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1987-1988 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 885, 888, 904, 907. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  8. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". State of Wisconsin 1989-1990 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 907, 922. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  9. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". State of Wisconsin 1993-1994 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 900, 919. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  10. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". State of Wisconsin 1997-1998 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 888, 919. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  11. ^ Results of Fall Primary Election - 09/12/2000 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. p. 10. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  12. ^ Results of Fall General Election - 11/07/2000 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. p. 5. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  13. ^ Results of Fall Primary Election - 09/14/2004 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. p. 11. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  14. ^ Results of Fall General Election - 11/02/2004 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. p. 6. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  15. ^ Results of Fall Primary Election - 09/09/2008 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. p. 8. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  16. ^ Results of Fall General Election - 11/04/2008 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. p. 5. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  17. ^ Canvass Results for 2011 Primary Recall Election State Senate (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. p. 1. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  18. ^ Canvass Results for 2011 Recall Election State Senate 2 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. p. 5. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  19. ^ Canvass Results for 2012 Partisan Primary - 8/14/2012 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. p. 6. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  20. ^ Canvass Results for 2012 Presidential and General Election - 11/6/2012 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. p. 4. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  21. ^ Canvass Results for 2016 Partisan Primary - 8/9/2016 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. p. 7. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  22. ^ Canvass Results for 2016 General Election - 11/8/2016 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. p. 5. Retrieved May 4, 2019.