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Dave Hansen
Dave Hansen

Dave Hansen (born December 18, 1947) is a Democratic Party member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 30th District since 2001.

Early life and education

Hansen was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay in 1971, marrying Jane Dessart the same year; the couple has three children.[1]

Early career

Before being elected to public office, Hansen was a school teacher, a Teamster’s Union steward, and also a truck driver for the City of Green Bay. He served on the Board of Supervisors for Brown County from 1996 to 2002.[1]

Wisconsin State Senate

Hansen was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in November 2000. He defeated incumbent Republican Senator Gary Drzewiecki. He was re-elected in 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016. He served as the Assistant Democratic Leader from 2003 until 2016.[1]

On February 20, 2011 Hansen, along with the 13 other Democratic State Senators, fled the state to deny the State Senate a quorum on Governor Scott Walker's legislation, which, among other things, limited collective bargaining benefits for most municipal and state employees.[2]

Hansen was the target of a recall effort as a result of his leaving the state in an attempt to prevent the Senate from being able to vote on Act 10. On July 19, however, he handily defeated his challenger and retained his seat.

A chronology of the recall effort:

  • February 25: The committee "Recall Dave Hansen" officially registered with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.[3] 13,582 signatures were required by April 26, 2011 to force a recall election. He was considered to be one of the three potentially vulnerable Democratic senators.
  • April 21: Recall supporters filed about 18,872 signatures with Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board.[4]
  • June 10: Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board certified the recall election.[5]
  • July 19: Hansen defeated his recall challenger, Republican David VanderLeest, receiving 66% of the vote.[6]


  • Committee on Agriculture, Small Business and Tourism
  • Committee on Senate Organization
  • Committee on Transportation and Veterans Affairs
  • Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges
  • Joint Committee on Legislative Organization
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