Evers announces three more cabinet picks, 11 nominees to date

MADISON (WKOW) — Three more announced and six to go, Governor-elect Tony Evers publicly named his cabinet picks to oversee the Department of Veterans Affairs, Financial Institutions, and the State’s budget office Friday.

Mary Kolar is a retired Navy captain who served 28 years and was elected to the Dane County Board in 2009. She was picked to head the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“I want to ensure a non-partisan policy is developed that best serves veterans, their families, and Wisconsin,” said Kolar.

Kathy Kolin Blumenfeld is Evers’ pick for the Department of Financial Institutions. She currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Special Operations at TASC.

“I’m excited to bring over 30 years of business and leadership experience in the areas of financial institutions, public accounting, securities, and philanthropy,” said Blumenfeld.

Brain Pahnke works with Evers at the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). He’s now on his way to the Department of Administration in the budget office. 

“Budgets are about priorities and yours (Evers) remain clear around health care, education, transportation and infrastructure, middle-class tax relief, environment, and criminal justice reform,” said Pahnke.

Some Republicans have voiced concerns over Evers nominees all being from the Madison or Milwaukee area. During his announcement at the Tommy Thompson center Friday, Evers shot-down the criticism. 

“I think as we move forward you’ll see others that live outside that arena and it’s not that people that live outside the Madison Milwaukee corner don’t have the talent or won’t add value they clearly will,” he said. 

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said in a statement he’s worried about Evers’ transportation secretary pick Craig Thompson because of his background working with special interests. The Senate has to approve all of his nominees.

Evers did announce this week he will appoint Carolyn Stanford Taylor to finish his term as Superintendent of Public Instruction which expires in 2021. State law says the governor can pick someone to fill the spot of state superintendent if it becomes vacant, so Evers will make the appointment official after he takes office.

More on this story at WKOW 27 News

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