Bronson La Follette

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Bronson La Follette
36th and 39th Attorney General of Wisconsin
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1987
GovernorPatrick J. Lucey
Martin J. Schreiber
Lee S. Dreyfus
Anthony S. Earl
Preceded byVictor A. Miller
Succeeded byDon Hanaway
In office
January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1969
GovernorWarren P. Knowles
Preceded byGeorge Thompson
Succeeded byRobert W. Warren
Personal details
Born
Bronson Cutting La Follette

(1936-02-02)February 2, 1936
Washington, D.C., U.S.
DiedMarch 15, 2018(2018-03-15) (aged 82)
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Barbara La Follette
Children2
FatherRobert M. La Follette Jr.
RelativesRobert M. La Follette, Sr. (grandfather)
Philip La Follette (uncle)
Doug La Follette (third cousin)
La Follette family
ResidenceMadison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin Law School
ProfessionLawyer

Bronson Cutting La Follette (February 2, 1936 – March 15, 2018) was an American Democratic lawyer and politician. He was the 36th and 39th Attorney General of the state of Wisconsin, and was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Wisconsin in 1968.

Family[edit]

Born in Washington, D.C., he was the son of the U.S. Senator Robert M. La Follette, Jr. and Rachel Wilson Young, and the grandson of U.S. Senator Robert M. "Fighting Bob" La Follette, Sr., all of Wisconsin. He was named in memory of former U.S. Senator Bronson Cutting of New Mexico, a close family friend who died in an airplane crash in 1935.[1][2]

Biography[edit]

La Follette went to Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland, he received a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1958 and a law degree in 1960.[3] He worked in private practice until 1962, when he was appointed an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin by U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.[4]

In 1964 he was elected Wisconsin Attorney General and served for two consecutive two-year terms, and later three consecutive four-year terms from 1975 to 1987,[3] he challenged the incumbent Republican Governor Warren P. Knowles in the 1968 Wisconsin gubernatorial election and lost.[4] He ran for and was again elected Attorney General in 1974. Despite a 1981 conviction for drunk driving (his blood alcohol content was .12 while the legal limit was .10),[5] he was re-elected in 1982, and in the process became the first candidate for Wisconsin statewide office to receive one million votes.[6] After his 1986 defeat following an ethics investigation,[7] he retired from public service and lived in Madison.[8]

Death[edit]

La Follette died on March 15, 2018 at the age of 82 at the University of Wisconsin Hospital, in Madison, Wisconsin.[9][10][11]

Governor Scott Walker said in a statement: "Tonette and I send our prayers to the family of former Wisconsin Attorney General Bronson La Follette, he was a dedicated public servant for several decades."

See also[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Wisconsin Attorney General (1964, 1966)[edit]

Wisconsin Attorney General Election, 1964[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election
Republican George Thompson (incumbent) 299,771 48.60%
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette 225,521 36.56%
Democratic William H. Evans 91,487 14.83%
Total votes 616,779 100.0%
General Election
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette 882,318 54.32%
Republican George Thompson (incumbent) 741,917 45.68%
Total votes 1,624,235 100.0%
Democratic gain from Republican
Wisconsin Attorney General Election, 1966[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette (incumbent) 232,176 55.45%
Republican Louis J. Ceci 186,499 44.55%
Total votes 418,675 100.0%
General Election
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette (incumbent) 609,216 53.56%
Republican Louis J. Ceci 528,202 46.44%
Total votes 1,137,418 100.0%
Democratic hold

Wisconsin Governor (1968)[edit]

Wisconsin Gubernatorial Election, 1968[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election
Republican Warren P. Knowles (incumbent) 272,504 57.04%
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette 173,458 36.31%
Democratic Floyd L. Wille 31,778 6.65%
Total votes 477,740 100.0%
General Election
Republican Warren P. Knowles (incumbent) 893463 52.88%
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette 791100 46.82%
Independent Adolf Wiggert 3,225 0.19%
Independent Robert Wilkinson 1,813 0.11%
Total votes 1,689,601 100.0%
Republican hold

Wisconsin Attorney General (1974-1986)[edit]

Wisconsin Attorney General Election, 1974[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election
Republican Gerald Lorge 143,337 30.64%
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette 132,538 28.33%
Democratic Anthony S. Earl 106,041 22.67%
Democratic Thomas M. Jacobson 50,678 10.83%
Republican Edward Nager 35,165 7.52%
Total votes 467,759 100.0%
General Election
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette 669,968 58.10%
Republican Gerald Lorge 483,232 41.90%
Total votes 1,153,200 100.0%
Democratic hold
Wisconsin Attorney General Election, 1978[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette (incumbent) 232,057 51.96%
Republican William Mattka 213,651 47.84%
Constitution Thomas J. Bergen 903 0.20%
Total votes 446,611 100.0%
General Election
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette (incumbent) 868,829 61.28%
Republican William Mattka 533,943 37.66%
Constitution Thomas J. Bergen 15,045 1.06%
Total votes 1,417,817 100.0% +22.95%
Democratic hold
Wisconsin Attorney General Election, 1982[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette (incumbent) 433,513 99.24%
Libertarian James S. Hoffert 1,510 0.35%
Constitution Gene D. Lineham 1,435 0.33%
Republican Marcus Gumz 327 0.07%
Republican William Belter 28 0.01%
Total votes 436,813 100.0%
General Election
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette (incumbent) 1,062,322 96.40%
Libertarian James S. Hoffert 27,004 2.45%
Constitution Gene D. Lineham 12,643 1.15%
Total votes 1,101,969 100.0% -22.28%
Democratic hold
Wisconsin Attorney General Election, 1986[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette (incumbent) 217,185 48.38%
Republican Donald J. Hanaway 174,519 38.88%
Republican Bartley G. Mauch 56,200 12.52%
Wis. Labor-Farm Dennis L. Boyer 967 0.22%
Total votes 436,813 100.0%
General Election
Republican Donald J. Hanaway 751,208 51.96%
Democratic Bronson C. La Follette (incumbent) 664,181 45.94%
Wis. Labor-Farm Dennis L. Boyer 30,455 2.11%
Total votes 1,101,969 100.0% +31.21%
Republican gain from Democratic

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LaFollette [sic] family of Madison, Wisconsin". Politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  2. ^ Patrick J. Maney. Young Bob: A Biography of Robert M. La Follette, Jr.. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2003, pp. 152-154.
  3. ^ a b Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (comp.). State of Wisconsin 1985–1986 Blue Book. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Administration, 1985, pp. 6–7.
  4. ^ a b "Inside Campaign '74: La Follette". Wisconsin State Journal. Madison, Wis. October 25, 1974. Retrieved July 25, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  5. ^ Jack Craver, "Notable Wisconsinites No Strangers to OWI Charges", Capital Times, May 26, 2013
  6. ^ "2017 Senate Resolution 7". Resolution of March 20, 2018. Wisconsin State Senate. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  7. ^ Peter Maller, "Boullion sees 'police state' tendency in La Follette ethics probe", Milwaukee Sentinel, September 19, 1986, p. 1
  8. ^ La Follette, Bronson C. 1936. Wisconsin Historical Society.
  9. ^ Bronson C. La Follette-death notice
  10. ^ "Former Wisconsin Attorney General Bronson La Follette dies". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 16, 2018.
  11. ^ Bronson C. La Follette-obituary
  12. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1966 (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 732, 750. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  13. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1968 (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 705, 750. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  14. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin Blue Book, 1970 (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 793, 810. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  15. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1975 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 798, 818. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  16. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1979-1980 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 898, 916. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  17. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1983-1984 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 880, 902. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  18. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1987-1988 Blue Book (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 880, 898. Retrieved April 12, 2019.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
George Thompson
Wisconsin Attorney General
1965-1969
Succeeded by
Robert W. Warren
Preceded by
Victor A. Miller
Wisconsin Attorney General
1975-1987
Succeeded by
Don Hanaway