MADISON — A Democratic gubernatorial candidate who finished at the back of the pack in 2018 is attempting a political comeback by running for Congress.
Josh Pade, a Kenosha attorney and business consultant who received less than 1 percent of the vote in the 2018 partisan primary, announced his bid to unseat Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, in 2020 to represent Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District.
The congressional district includes the Lake Geneva region.
Pade, 39, whose stint in politics began with his 2018 gubernatorial run, acknowledges he could face significant hurdles in facing off against Steil, a one-term congressman who received the backing of his predecessor, former House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“I’m definitely an underdog,” Pade said. “It’s never easy to win an election.”
Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District in southern Wisconsin borders Illinois and stretches from Kenosha in the east to Janesville in the west. It has traditionally been in the Republican column in recent years, although Ryan’s departure in 2018 appeared to put the seat up for grabs for the first time since Ryan’s election in 1998.
With the seat in play, Democratic groups raised huge sums of money to back Steil’s Democratic challenger, former ironworker Randy Bryce. Steil won the election with nearly 55 percent of the vote compared to Bryce’s 42 percent. That’s despite Bryce spending $8.6 million in the race compared to Steil’s $2.3 million.
The Cook Political Report ranked the 1st Congressional District as leaning Republican. The nonpartisan politics newsletter does not consider the seat competitive as of its latest report.
Pade said he learned a lot about politics from his gubernatorial bid, and is prepared to run for Congress to represent the area where he grew up.
Pade said he plans to run on making health care more affordable and providing more economic security for working families, especially those with only one income.
He supports providing a public health care option for the economically insecure, although he said he believes in the free market and wants to keep private health insurance options.
He added he wants to make the cost of college more affordable by providing more public assistance, as well as providing deeper tax cuts for middle-class taxpayers.
Steil spokesman Alex Walker said Steil “is focused on serving the people of southeast Wisconsin and solving problems — not partisan politics.”
Pictures of the Past Gallery
This photo appeared as a picture of the past in the Feb. 28, 2002, edition of the Lake Geneva Regional News. It was supplied by Laurie Holtan, and it is of the 1955 St. Valentine’s Day party at the J-Mar Club. Partygoers included (from left) Jack Brugger and Mary McDonald; (second row) Betty Park, Dorothy Berndt, Doris Brugger, Gail Read Thoreson, unknown, Nancy Parshall, Lila Blood DeVries, Frances DeVries; (back row) Janet Koehn, Harold Park, Marian Shepstone, Donna Miller Sheppard; Bob Robers, Wilma Robers; Art Hinzpeter, Dona Hinzpeter, Bob Holtan, Laurie Crisman Holtan, Louise Robinson, Ken Robinson, Escamena, Brown, Owen Brown, Leo Menasco and Cal Berndt.
Pollution picture of the past
This photo was discovered in the Lake Geneva Regional News archives, but it didn’t include any identifiable information. If you know any information about this photo, please contact Regional News general manager Robert Ireland at 262-248-4452.
Picture of the Past Andy Gump
Between the 1950s and late 1980s the Andy Gump statue in Flat Iron Mark was often the target of vandalism and theft. This photo appeared in The Jan. 5, 1989, edition of the Lake Geneva Regional News with a story about Bob Duffy, who volunteered to rebuild the statue after Gump was stolen. The photo above shows John Kuehn and Carol Kuehn replacing Gump’s head in May of 1981.
Picture of the Past O'Neil and Phillips
This photo was originally slated to appear in the April 10, 1975, edition, of the Lake Geneva Regional News, but it didn’t make that edition. Katie O’Neil and Pete Phillips are identified on the back of the photo. If you have more information about this photo, please contact Lake Geneva Regional News General Manager Robert Ireland at 262-248-4452 or at
Picture of the Past Interlaken
This photo appeared in the Aug. 19, 1976, edition of the Resorter. It showcases a pool at the former Interlaken Lodge (now The Ridge).
Picture of the Past Unicef
Mayor Emil Johnjack, left, and T.J. Kitze, grade schools superintendent, third from left, make a contribution to the annual UNICEF drive. The organizer of the event, Mrs. Frank Jedda, right, a member of the United Church Women of Lake Geneva, which sponsors the drive. The photo originally appeared in the Oct. 21, 1965, edition of the Lake Geneva Regional News. Johnjack declared Oct. 31, 1965, as UNICEF day in Lake Geneva.
Picture of the Past Janowak and Boyle
Last week we ran this photo asking for help identifying the man on the left. Local historian Ginny Hall contacted the Lake Geneva Regional News to identify the man as Pat Boyle, a former UW-Extension chancellor. Boyle is presenting Frank Janowak with an award for 10 years of service on the Walworth County Extension Committees. This photo originally appeared in the July 26, 1990, edition of the Lake Geneva Regional News.
Picture of the Past Fire Truck
George F. Getz, seated, and his wife, Olive, sit in a fire truck in their driveway at 61 North Lake Shore Drive. Getz started The Hall of Flame in Lake Geneva, which later moved to Scottsdale, Arizona.
Picture of the Past Irish Woods
This file photo originally appeared in the June 10, 1976, edition of the Lake Geneva Regional News. The original descendants of those who settled in the Irish Woods, which occurred in about 1850, gathered to observe the Bicentennial Wagon Train, which changed its route to bypass the Irish Woods on May 1. (From left) Miss Catherine Watson, Miss Marie Cronin, Joseph Deignan and Patrick Howard Watson.
Picture of the Past Boys Fishing
Dean Jeffers, 10, and Ron Hill, 12, were photographed after catching this giant carp out of the White River. It took the boys more than an hour to reel in the fish, which weighed in at 35 pounds. This photo originally appeared in the Aug. 7, 1969, edition of the Lake Geneva Regional News.
Picture of the Past Frame family
Lorena Rodriguez, 17, of Costa Rica, stayed with the Frames’ family for one year as a foreign exchange student at Badger High School. This photo originally appeared in the Sept. 5, 1968, edition of the Lake Geneva Regional News.
Picture of the past new teachers
In this file photo that ran in the Aug. 25, 1977, edition of the Lake Geneva Regional News, newlyweds Greg and Lisa Thiesfeldt discuss their challenges in setting up a new parochial elementary school at First Evangelical Lutheran Church on Logan Street.
Picture of the Past Homecoming
This photo was slated to run in the Oct. 6, 1983, edition of the Lake Geneva Regional News. Although a number of homecoming photos made that paper, this one didn’t make the cut. The newspaper does not have information to identify the woman riding in the car. If you know who is photographed, please contact Regional News general manager Robert Ireland at
RIreland@lakegenevanews.net or at 262.248.4452.
Picture of the past artist
In this file photo that first appeared in the Dec. 19, 1963, edition of the Regional News, James Armour, a resident of Williams Bay and a former Scottish immigrant, displays his artwork. His paintings included subjects from his homeland and the Williams Bay area.
Picture of the Past First Baby of the Year
Troy Anthony Trimble was the winner of the Regional News “First Baby of the Year” contest poses with his mother, Marguerite Trimble. Trimble was born on Jan. 2 at 6:44 a.m.
Mystery Pic July 21, 1966 some information
This photo was found in Regional News archives with little information attached to it. On Dec. 20, 2018, the Lake Geneva Regional News ran this photo as our Picture of the Past, and asked the public for help in identifying the people in the photo. A few readers contacted us and identified the man on the left as James B. Warner. We were able to speak to James’ widow, Nancy, but Nancy wasn’t able to identify the other person in the picture. The photo is dated July 21, 1966, but this picture didn’t appear in that edition of the newspaper. If you know anything about the other person in the photo, please contact Regional News General Manager Robert Ireland at
Picture of the Past Wedding
Linda Carol Katt and Donald Gene Van were married in the First Baptist Church in October 1966. After the wedding, a reception was held at the Moose Lodge with more than 300 people. This file photo ran in the Nov. 3, 1966, Lake Geneva Regional News.
Picture of the Past 1970 City Council
In April 1970, the new city council and mayor posed for a photo during the annual reorganizational meeting. (Front row, from left) Donald Ketchpaw, city assessor; Robert Meyerhofer, inter-city milk control; Frank Fernstrom, chairman, police and fire Commission; John Nichols, water commissioner and chairman, board of review; Richard Miller, the council new vice president and chairman of streets, alleys and sidewalks committee; C.H. Van Slyck, chairman piers, parks and navigation; Melvin Swance, chairman water commission and board of health; and Sheldon Shepstone, chairman license committee. (Back row, from left) Josephine Parks, city clerk; mayor Norman Blue; James English, city attorney; (The woman in this position was identified in the newspaper in 1970 as Mrs. Robert Brady, city treasurer); Stanley Bence, the council’s president and chairman finance, budget and insurance committee.
Picture of the Past Y Indian Guide Tribe
This photo was taken during ceremonies for the Big Foot Y-Indian Guide tribe at the YMCA. The photo ran in the newspaper on Jan. 16, 1964. During the ceremony, the mayor, Emil Johnejack, was made an honorary chief of the tribe.