Republican and Democratic Candidates Selected for Presidential Primary


Madison, WI –Wisconsin’s Presidential Preference Selection Committee today selected seven Republicans and one Democrat who will appear as candidates on the ballot for the Presidential Preference Vote on April 3, 2012. 

The committee, which has convened every four years since 1968, met in the State Capitol and approved the candidates from lists submitted by representatives of the two political parties permitted by statute to participate in the presidential primary.  The Committee has the sole discretion to determine those individuals whose candidacies are generally recognized or advocated in the national news media for placement on Wisconsin’s presidential primary ballot.

These candidates will appear on their respective party ballots:

Republican Democratic
Michele Bachmann Barack Obama
Newt Gingrich  
Jon Huntsman  
Ron Paul  
Rick Perry  
Mitt Romney  
Rick Santorum  

Today’s meeting opens a four-week window in which candidates chosen by the Committee may opt out, or those not chosen may circulate nominating petitions to get on the ballot.  To be removed from the ballot, a candidate must file a disclaimer with the Government Accountability Board by January 31.  To get on the ballot, an omitted candidate must collect at least 1,000 signatures from each of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts by January 31.  The candidates’ ballot order will be selected at random after the deadline.

On April 3, 2012, Wisconsin electors will have the opportunity to express their preference for a presidential candidate, at the Spring Election for judicial and other local non-partisan candidates.  In the Presidential Preference Primary, an elector may vote on the ballot of only one political party.  The elector may choose to vote by one of the following methods: 

  • Vote for one of the persons whose names are printed on the ballot;
  • Vote for an uninstructed delegation from Wisconsin to the national convention of the party; 
  • Write in the name of another person to become the presidential candidate of the party.

The committee was chaired by Janice Mueller, retired Wisconsin State Auditor. Members of the committee, as established under Wisconsin law, were:

  • State Representative Peter Barca, D-Kenosha
  • Mary Buestrin, Republican National Committeewoman
  • Brad Courtney, Chairperson, Republican Party of Wisconsin
  • State Senator Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay
  • Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon
  • Steve King, Republican National Committeeman
  • Martha Love, Democratic National Committeewoman
  • State Senator Mark Miller, D-Monona
  • Jason R. Rae, Democratic National Committeeman
  • Michael Tate, Chairperson, Democratic Party of Wisconsin

Kevin J. Kennedy, Wisconsin’s chief elections officer, said today’s Presidential Preference Selection Committee meeting starts the state’s presidential selection process.  The presidential process will culminate in December 2012, when presidential electors from one of the two parties will gather at the State Capitol to cast their votes in the Electoral College.

For more information, contact

Reid Magney, public information officer, 608-267-7887