Wisconsin's 21st State Senate district

The 21st Senate District of Wisconsin is one of 33 districts in the Wisconsin State Senate.[3] Located in southeastern Wisconsin, the district comprises most of Kenosha and Racine counties. The district includes the city of Burlington and part of the city of Racine, as well as the villages of Bristol, Caledonia, Paddock Lake, Pleasant Prairie, Rochester, Salem Lakes, Sturtevant, Twin Lakes, and Union Grove, and the portions of the villages of Mount Pleasant and Somers west of Wisconsin Highway 31.[4]

Wisconsin's 21st
State Senate district
Map of the district
Wisconsin Senate District 21, defined in 2011 Wisc. Act 43
  Van H. Wanggaard
since January 5, 2015 (6 years)
Demographics87.7% White
4.2% Black
6.2% Hispanic
1.4% Asian
0.4% Native American
0.1% Other
Population (2010)
 • Voting age
NotesSoutheast Wisconsin

Current elected officialsEdit

Van H. Wanggaard is the senator representing the 21st district. He was elected to his first term in the 2010 general election, but was removed from office in a recall election in 2012. He subsequently was returned to office in the 2014 general election, and is now in his second four-year term.[5]

Each Wisconsin State Senate district is composed of three Wisconsin State Assembly districts. The 21st Senate district comprises the 61st, 62nd, and 63rd Assembly districts. The current representatives of those districts are:[6]

The district is located entirely within Wisconsin's 1st congressional district, which is represented by U.S. Representative Bryan Steil.[7]


The 21st Senate district is unique in Wisconsin recall history. In 1996, it became the first district in which a Wisconsin state legislator was successfully removed from office via recall election, when Kimberly Plache defeated George Petak. With the recall of Van H. Wanggaard in 2012, it became the only Wisconsin district where there have been more than one successful recall elections.[8]


As with all state senate and assembly seats, the boundaries of the 21st have moved over time during decennial redistricting. Senators of previous eras have represented different geographic areas.

The district was created after the 1850 census and reapportionment and was drawn for Winnebago County, in central Wisconsin. The inaugural holder was Coles Bashford in the 6th session of the Wisconsin Legislature, 1853.

In the 19th century, the district included at various times Marathon, Oconto, Shawano and Waupaca counties, and was located within the now-defunct 9th Congressional District

For most of the 20th century, the district covered the city of Racine and Racine County, in southeastern Wisconsin, within the boundaries of the 1st Congressional District.

In redistricting after the 2010 census, the city of Racine was mostly removed and rural and suburban portions of Kenosha County were added to the district, turning the 21st into a safe Republican seat.[9]

Past senatorsEdit

The 21st senate district has had several notable officeholders, including American Civil War General John Azor Kellogg and Wisconsin Governors Coles Bashford and Walter Samuel Goodland.

A list of all previous senators from this district:

Senator Party Notes Session Years District Definition
District created by 1852 Wisc. Act 499. 1852
WI Senate District 21, 1853-1872

Winnebago County
Coles Bashford Whig Won 1852 election.
Resigned 1855, elected Governor of Wisconsin.
6th 1853
7th 1854
Rep. 8th 1855
John Fitzgerald Dem. Won 1855 special election. 9th 1856
Edwin Wheeler Rep. 10th 1857
11th 1858
Ganem W. Washburn Dem. 12th 1859
Rep. 13th 1860
Horace O. Crane Rep. Resigned June 1861. 14th 1861
Samuel M. Hay Rep. Won 1861 special election. 15th 1862
Joseph B. Hamilton Rep. 16th 1863
17th 1864
George S. Barnum Natl. Union 18th 1865
19th 1866
George Gary Natl. Union Resigned Oct. 1867. 20th 1867
William G. Ritch Rep. Won 1867 special election. 21st 1868
Ira W. Fisher Rep. 22nd 1869
23rd 1870
James H. Foster Rep. Redistricted to 19th district. 24th 1871
Myron Reed Dem. 25th 1872 Marathon, Oconto, Shawano, Waupaca counties, and
Myron H. McCord Rep. 26th 1873 Marathon, Oconto, Shawano, Waupaca Counties, and
27th 1874
Willis C. Silverthorn Dem. 28th 1875
29th 1876 Lincoln, Marathon, Oconto, Shawano, Waupaca counties, and
Henry Mumbrue Lib. Rep. 30th 1877 Marathon, Portage, and Waupaca counties
31st 1878
John Azor Kellogg Rep. 32nd 1879
33rd 1880
Charles F. Crosby Rep. 34th 1881
35th 1882
John Ringle Dem. 36th 1883–1884 Shawano, Waupaca, and Marathon counties
37th 1885–1886
John E. Leahy Rep. 38th 1887–1888
39th 1889–1890 Shawano and Waupaca counties, and
Joseph H. Woodnorth Dem. 40th 1891–1892
41st 1893–1894 Portage and Waushara counties, and
John Phillips Rep. 42nd 1895–1896
43rd 1897–1898 Portage and Waupaca counties
William H. Hatton Rep. 44th 1899–1900
45th 1901–1902
46th 1903–1904
47th 1905–1906
Edward E. Browne Rep. 48th 1907–1908
49th 1909–1910
50th 1911–1912
Edward F. Kileen Rep. 51st 1913–1914 Waushara, Adams, Juneau, and Marquette counties
Frank H. Hanson Rep. 52nd 1915–1916
53rd 1917–1918
John A. Conant Rep. 54th 1919–1920
55th 1921–1922
Max W. Heck Rep. 56th 1923–1924
WI Senate District 21, 1922-1971
Racine County
57th 1925–1926
Walter S. Goodland Rep. Won 1926 election.
Re-elected 1930.
Elected Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin in 1934.
58th 1927–1928
59th 1929–1930
60th 1931–1932
61st 1933–1934
Joseph Clancy Dem. 62nd 1935–1936
63rd 1937–1938
Kenneth L. Greenquist Prog. 64th 1939–1940
65th 1941–1942
Edward F. Hilker Rep. 66th 1943–1944
67th 1945–1946
68th 1947–1948
69th 1949–1950
Gerald T. Flynn Dem. 70th 1951–1952
71st 1953–1954
Lynn E. Stalbaum Dem. Won 1954 election.
Re-elected 1958, 1962.
Resigned 1964 after election to U.S. House.
72nd 1955–1956
73rd 1957–1958
74th 1959–1960
75th 1961–1962
76th 1963–1964
Henry Dorman Dem. Won 1965 special election.
Re-elected 1966, 1970, 1974.
Defeated in 1978 primary.
77th 1965–1966
78th 1967–1968
79th 1969–1970
80th 1971–1972
81st 1973–1974
82nd 1975–1976
83rd 1977–1978
Joseph A. Strohl Dem. Won 1978 election.
Re-elected 1982, 1986.
Majority Leader 1987-1990.
Defeated in 1990 election.
84th 1979–1980
85th 1981–1982
86th 1983–1984
Central and Eastern Racine County
87th 1985–1986
88th 1987–1988
89th 1989–1990
George Petak Republican Won 1990 election.
Re-elected 1994.
Defeated in 1996 recall election.
90th 1991–1992
91st 1993–1994
Southern and Eastern Racine County
92nd 1995–1996
Kimberly Plache Dem. Won 1996 recall election.
Re-elected 1998.
Defeated in 2002 election.
93rd 1997–1998
94th 1999–2000
95th 2001–2002
Cathy Stepp Rep. Won 2002 election.
Did not seek re-election.
96th 2003–2004
Central and Eastern Racine County
97th 2005–2006
John Lehman Dem. Won 2006 election.
Defeated in 2010 election.
98th 2007–2008
99th 2009–2010
Van H. Wanggaard Rep. Won 2010 election.
Defeated in 2012 recall election.
100th 2011–2012
John Lehman Dem. Won 2012 recall election.
Did not seek re-election.
101st 2013–2014
Central and Western Racine County
Central and Western Kenosha County
Van H. Wanggaard Rep. Won 2014 election.
Re-elected 2018.
102nd 2015–2016
103rd 2017–2018
Central and Western Racine County
104th 2019–2020
105th 2021–2022


  1. ^ 2011 Wisconsin Act 43 and 44 with Baldus et al vs. Brennan et al by Municipal Ward (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. October 18, 2012. pp. 143–148. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  2. ^ Wisconsin Legislative District Health Profile - Senate District 21 (PDF) (Report). University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. 2018. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  3. ^ "Senate District 21". Wisconsin Legislature. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  4. ^ "Wisconsin Legislative Districts - Senate District 21 Boundaries". Wisconsin Legislature. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  5. ^ "Senator Van H. Wanggaard". Wisconsin Legislature. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  6. ^ Wisconsin Blue Book, 2011-12 edition, page 60. ISBN 978-0-9752820-1-4.
  7. ^ "State of Wisconsin Congressional Districts" (PDF). Wisconsin Legislature. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  8. ^ Craig Gilbert (2012-05-20). "Racine's 21st Senate District no stranger to recalls". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  9. ^ Berman, Ari (2018-01-24). "How the GOP Rigs Elections". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-02-16.

External linksEdit