Governor-elect Tony Evers on Friday named three people from Madison as his latest selections to serve in his incoming administration. So far, all his appointees have been from Madison and Milwaukee. “They’re two areas that have a lot of people living there, so I don’t think our selections are extraordinarily surprising,” Evers said.
Republicans have previously complained that Evers has not picked anyone from outside the state’s two largest metro areas. “We always strive for talent, and making sure we have good people who can connect the dots, and we’ll continue to do that. It’s not that people who live outside the Madison-Milwaukee corridor don’t have talent . . . or won’t add value. They clearly will, and you’ll see more diversity moving forward.”
Evers announced Dane County Supervisor Mary Kolar to head the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. “Veterans contribute to their communities, in many ways. Our WDVA will work to ensure they and their families achieve their employment, education and quality of life goals,” Kolar said. Kolar served in the U.S. Navy for 28 years.
Evers pick as Budget Director is Brian Pahnke, currently a deputy secretary in the Department of Public Instruction. Pahnke has accompanied Evers and Lieutenant Governor-elect Mandela Barnes at public hearings around the state. “Budgets are about priorities, and yours remain clear,” Pahnke said. “Around health care, educaiton, transportation and infrastructure, middle class tax relief, the environment and criminal justice reform.”
Kathy Koltin Blumenfeld is Evers’ pick to head the Department of Financial Institutions. Koltin Blumenfeld, currently the executive vice president of special operations at TASC in Madison, said she’s “very optimistic” about Wisconsin. “By working together and across the aisle, we will continue to better the lives of the citizens of Wisconsin and future generations.”