September 14, 2017
Individuals with Wisconsin zip code addresses who contributed $100 or more a year to partisan legislative and statewide candidates doled out about $136.4 million between 2003 and 2016, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found. About $86.3 million, or 63 percent, of those large individual contributions went to Republican candidates and about $50.1 million, or 37 percent, of the contributions went to Democrats.
The contributions came from about 900 Wisconsin zip codes. The bulk of the contributions came from zip codes for the state’s metropolitan areas, particularly Milwaukee and Madison and some of their suburbs (see zip code maps). The maps indicate that much of the state, particularly Wisconsin’s vast rural areas, contribute sharply less to state candidates than suburban areas. The Democracy Campaign review found:
- Ten zip codes generated more than $2 million each in contributions totaling about $33.5 million, or 25 percent of all of the large individual contributions from Wisconsin zip codes. Republican candidates accepted just over $17 million and Democrats received nearly $16.5 million;
- Twenty-nine zip codes generated contributions totaling $1 million or more each for a total of $59.7 million, or 44 percent of Wisconsin zip code contributions. Republicans received nearly $34.6 million, or 58 percent, of the contributions, versus more than $25.1 million, or 42 percent, for Democratic candidates;
- Sixty-seven zip codes generated contributions of more than $500,000 each totaling nearly $85.8 million, or 63 percent of all large individual Wisconsin contributions. Republican candidates received $52.4 million, or 61 percent, and Democrats accepted more than $33.3 million, or 39 percent, of the contributions;
- Two-hundred and fifteen zip codes generated contributions of more than $100,000 each totaling $120.9 million, or 89 percent of all large individual contributions from Wisconsin zip codes. Republican candidates accepted nearly $75.4 million, or 62 percent, and Democrats received nearly $45.6 million, or 38 percent, of the contributions.
The top state zip code for partisan campaign contributions between 2003 and 2016 was 53217, which generated more than $6.9 million. This zip code covers part of Milwaukee and some of its tony suburbs, including River Hills, Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, Bayside and Glendale. Sixty-one percent of these contributions, or $4.2 million, went to Republican candidates and 39 percent, or $2.7 million, went to Democrats.
Rounding out the top three Wisconsin zip codes for campaign contributions between 2003 and 2016 were:
53211, which generated more than $4.1 million in contributions, including $3 million, or 72 percent, for Democratic candidates, and more than $1.1 million, or 28 percent, for Republicans. This zip code also covers part of Milwaukee, as well as Whitefish Bay, Glendale and Shorewood;
53092, which generated nearly $3.8 million in contributions, including $2.8 million, or 75 percent, for Republican candidates, and about $955,900, or 25 percent, for Democrats. This zip code covers Mequon and Thiensville, notably wealthy Milwaukee suburbs.
The top campaign contributors from Wisconsin zip codes between 2003 and 2016 were:
- Diane Hendricks and her late husband, Ken, of Beloit, owners of ABC Supply, about $621,650;
- Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, and his wife, Miriam, about $397,000;
- Robert and Patricia Kern, of Waukesha, founders of Generac Corp., about $336,700;
- Jere and Renee Fabick, of Oconomowoc, owners of Fabco Equipment, $291,500;
- Ted Kellner, chairman of Fiduciary Management, and his wife, Mary, of Mequon, about $253,800.
Not surprisingly, the top recipients of campaign cash from Wisconsin zip codes between 2003 and 2016 were the GOP and Democratic nominees for governor since 2006:
- Republican Gov. Scott Walker, about $34.6 million;
- Former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, about $9.8 million;
- Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett, nearly $7.7 million;
- Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke, nearly $5.9 million;
- GOP candidate for governor Mark Green, about $5.3 million.