Neumann on the issues (click each link for more):
As a business owner, Mark knows how important it is to rein in the size and scope of government regulation and bureaucratic interference. He’s seen firsthand how high taxes and huge federal deficits hurt our economy and sap the strength and innovation of job creators.
Born in East Troy, Wisconsin, Neumann grew up working on a farm before getting married at the age of 19 to Sue, who he met in 4th grade Sunday School class. They’ve now celebrated 38 years of marriage with three children and four grandsons.
Mark graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater before moving to River Falls, Wisconsin to earn a Master of Science in Supervision and Instructional Leadership. He also taught in River Falls as a high school math teacher. Mark loves numbers. His four years teaching math proved invaluable later on when he went to Congress and became one of the principle architects of the 1998 balanced budget—the first balanced budget in decades.
Mark started a real estate business in the basement of his home while teaching math in the University of Wisconsin System. Several years later he opened a home building company. In their first year, they nearly lost it all. But they kept at it, and four years later he was building 120 homes and had created 250 private sector jobs. Today Mark continues to build homes.
Mark believes in the American Dream because he’s lived it. And today he’s running for United States Senate because he knows President Obama and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin are on a course that will eliminate the unique opportunities past generations of Americans have enjoyed.
Mark was inspired to run for Congress in 1989 after his first visit to Washington, DC on a family vacation. He saw all the monuments to the men and women who made this country great; many who paid the ultimate price and gave their lives for it, so generations like ours could live in freedom, prosperity and peace. He also knew politicians were threatening it all by pandering, spending and taxing their way to personal political power.
Back then, in the early 1990‘s, America faced record budget deficits and a stagnant economy. But politicians put their own interests ahead of those they served.
In 1994 Mark won a seat in Congress. Mark defeated Democrat incumbent, Peter Barca, in one of the closest races in America. In Congress, Mark quickly built a reputation for fierce independence, integrity and decency. He did it simply by being true to those who had entrusted him with their votes -- the people of Racine, Kenosha, and Janesville — not the career politicians and special interests too often found in both political parties.
Mark went to Congress to achieve two things: balance the federal budget and restore our struggling economy. And he succeeded!
In fact, Mark was such a fierce opponent of deficits, Congressional leaders of both parties threatened to end his “political” career if he voted against their spending. In September 1995, Republican Party bosses kicked him off the Appropriations Committee (the committee that spends money) for voting against higher spending. Mark’s response: “I don’t have a career in politics. I’m a business owner.” Mark wrote every Member of Congress saying, “If I am kicked off this committee for voting my conscience then I’m only sorry I don’t have more committees to get kicked off of.”
Conservative Republicans rallied to support Mark, they backed his reinstatement and forced Congressional leaders to restore Mark to the Appropriations Committee. Not only that, they put Mark on the Budget Committee, making Mark Neumann the first freshman in the history of Congress to serve on both the Appropriations and Budget Committees at the same time.
Neumann wrote a plan to balance the budget that would later be part of the framework for the 1998 balanced budget. He was considered a principle architect of the balanced budget and Speaker Newt Gingrich called Neumann “an absolute prophet of balancing the budget, brilliant and idealistic.”
While Mark was distinguished for his focus and success on spending and budgets, his conservative record went further. Considered Wisconsin’s most conservative Congressman in the last thirty years (Source: Political Scientists Poole and Rosenthal), Neumann repeatedly voted for lower taxes—never raising taxes—voted 100% pro-life, pro-marriage, and was rated A+ by the NRA in 1998. Senator Jim DeMint has called Mark a “full spectrum conservative.”
In 1998, Neumann left Congress and worked to elect Paul Ryan as his replacement. Meanwhile, Mark narrowly lost a race for U.S. Senate to incumbent Russ Feingold by 50-48%.
Mark returned to his businesses, and in 2000, Mark became so frustrated with how some public schools, especially in urban areas, were failing our kids that he decided to co-found the Hope Schools, Christian Choice Schools. After more than a decade dedicating time and money to them, these schools have been profiled for their success. Hope students’ test scores are higher than peer students despite spending less money because of their emphasis on accountability and parental involvement. Mark has also co-founded Eagle College Prep. Mark supports a broad menu of educational options for students and their families including homeschooling.
In 2009, concerned by the direction Governor Doyle was taking Wisconsin, Mark announced he would run for Governor on a conservative platform. On primary night he endorsed Scott Walker and at the Unity Breakfast he declared he would work to make sure that all 44 counties that he carried would vote for Walker in the general. He campaigned with Walker in Milwaukee and Green Bay and donated leftover campaign supplies to Walker’s campaign.
In 2010, Mark also won Wisconsin’s Beer Stein Holding competition (Masskrugstemmen) and represented Wisconsin at the national competition in New York City.
Lifelong Wisconsinites, Mark and Sue currently reside in Nashotah, where they worship at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pewaukee.
Source: Neumann campaign