|Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly|
from the 12th district
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Fred Kessler|
|Born||May 21, 1984|
|Alma mater||Alcorn State University (B.A., 2006)|
Strayer University (M.E., 2009)
Argosy University (D.E., 2016)
LaKeshia N. Myers (born May 21, 1984) is an American educator from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who was elected in November 2018 to the Wisconsin State Assembly from the 12th district, after having defeated long-time incumbent State Representative Fred Kessler in the Democratic August primary election with strong financial backing from Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele (Kessler was a frequent critic of Abele). She was unopposed in the general election.
Early life and education
Myers was born in Milwaukee in 1984, and graduated from Rufus King High School in 2002. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Alcorn State University in 2006 (from 2005-2006 she was National Membership Director of College Democrats of America), a Master of Education from Strayer University in 2009, and a doctor of education from Argosy University in 2016. In addition to working as Director of Education for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and a trainer of teachers at Milwaukee Public Schools, she has been a small business owner, a clerk for the United States House of Representatives, and a legislative aide for Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
In 2012, after a drastic redistricting by the Republican-controlled legislature removed his home from the 12th and changed the racial complexion completely, Kessler (who had served in the Assembly on and off since 1961) faced a challenge in the Democratic primary from African-American newcomer Mario Hall, who was reported to be a school choice supporter with backing from pro-voucher organizations. Kessler (who had to move into the redrawn district) won with 71% of the vote, and faced no challenger in the November general election. Kessler was re-elected without opposition in 2014 and 2016.
In 2018, Myers (who has been active in various African-American and other civic organizations) announced her candidacy, saying that she ran because "neglect and starvation" had hurt Wisconsin's educational system, advocating that fewer people be re-imprisoned for minor probation and parole violations, and denouncing what she calls the district's economic decline. Kessler has been a frequent critic of Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele on issues from privatization of Milwaukee public schools to the public subsidies which financed the Fiserv Forum; and the Leadership MKE political action fund (financed almost completely by Abele) reported spending over $57,000 in support of Myers' candidacy. In the primary she defeated the 78-year-old Kessler with 3,709 votes to his 2,545. Afterwards, she told the Associated Press, "I think the district made their voices clear with, it's time for us to cash in on that seat by having someone, a person of color, represent us in this district." (She is the only African-American woman in the Assembly from the Milwaukee area, and one of only two statewide.) She drew 17,428 votes in the general election, with only 274 write-in votes against her.
- "Representative LaKeshia Myers". Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Beck, Molly; Johnson, Annysa; Bice, Dan (August 14, 2018). "Immigration attorney ousts Rep. Josh Zepnick following sexual misconduct allegations". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- "Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on Leadership MKE". Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. October 16, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Official biography
- Map of new 12th District
- Noth, Dominique Paul (August 1, 2012). "How Fred Kessler Gets Under GOP Skin". Milwaukee Labor Press. Archived from the original on August 20, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
- Wisconsin Elections Commission Official Results: 2018 Partisan Primary "Representative to the Assembly District 12 - Democratic" p. 111.
- Moreno, Ivan; Richmond, Todd (August 15, 2018). "Educator upsets longtime Wisconsin state lawmaker". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Jannene, Jeramey (August 15, 2018). "All the Election Data You Want". urbanmilwaukee.com. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- WEC Canvass Reporting System: County by County Report: 2018 General Election "Representative to the Assembly District 1" p. 12.