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Margaret Farrow

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Margaret Farrow
Member of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents
In office
June 18, 2013 – December 7, 2017
Appointed byScott Walker
Preceded byJudith Crane
42nd Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin
In office
May 9, 2001 – January 6, 2003
GovernorScott McCallum
Preceded byScott McCallum
Succeeded byBarbara Lawton
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 33rd district
In office
January 2, 1989 – May 9, 2001
Preceded bySusan Engeleiter
Succeeded byTed Kanavas
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 99th district
In office
January 5, 1987 – January 2, 1989
Preceded byJohn M. Young
Succeeded byFrank Urban
Personal details
Margaret Ann Nemitz

(1934-11-28)November 28, 1934
Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.
DiedMarch 8, 2022(2022-03-08) (aged 87)
Pewaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseJohn Farrow
ChildrenPaul Farrow
ProfessionTeacher, realtor

Margaret Ann Farrow (née Nemitz; November 28, 1934 – March 8, 2022) was an American Republican politician who was the 42nd lieutenant governor of Wisconsin (the first woman to hold the office) and also served in both houses of the state legislature.

Early and personal life[edit]

Farrow was born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She was the daughter of William Nemitz, who worked at Snap-On Tool Corporation, and Margaret (née Horan) who was a corporate executive assistant. She attended St. Catherine's High School in Racine.[1][2] She then attended Rosary College in River Forest, Illinois, for one year before receiving her B.A. from Marquette University.[3][4] Farrow was married and had five children.[1]


Elected office (1971–2003)[edit]

Farrow served on the Elm Grove, Wisconsin Board of Appeals from 1971 to 1974 and the Village Board from 1976 to 1987, spending the last five years of her tenure as president. After her time with the Village Board, Farrow was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly, and later the Wisconsin State Senate, from a district comprising most of Waukesha County, Wisconsin.[5][6] The first female lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, Farrow was appointed to the position after then-Lieutenant Governor Scott McCallum was elevated to the office of governor upon the departure of Gov. Tommy Thompson to join the administration of George W. Bush in January 2001.[7]

As Lieutenant Governor, she served as chair of the Governor's Work-Based Learning Board, co-chair of the Governor's Task Force on Invasive Species, and chair of the Wisconsin's Women's Council. Farrow authored and served as vice chair of the SAVE Commission and was appointed by Governor Tommy Thompson to serve on the Governor's Blue-Ribbon Commission on State-Local Partnerships for the 21st Century.[8] Farrow also served on the Governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force on Passenger Rail.[9]

McCallum and Farrow ran for a full four-year term in 2002, but their Republican ticket lost the race to Democrat Jim Doyle.[10][11]

Post-Lieutenant Governor[edit]

Farrow was publicly touted by Mark Neumann as the best candidate to take on Democrat Russ Feingold in 2004. Without putting her name forward for consideration, she won a straw poll at the 2003 Republican State Convention.[12] During the 2008 campaign, she was a member of the "Palin Truth Squad" for the McCain Campaign.[13]

She was chairman of the board of directors of WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network, Inc., which produces the Wisconsin equivalent of C-SPAN.[14] In 2010, WCAN (Waukesha County Action Network), the advocacy organization Farrow had created, combined with the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce to create the Waukesha County Business Alliance, a county-wide chamber of commerce representing over 1,100 member businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. Farrow also served on the Board of Directors as well as the Policy Board of the Waukesha County Business Alliance.[15]

In 2013, she became the inaugural winner of the annual Margaret Thatcher Award, which honored her contributions, courage, and leadership as one of "Wisconsin's Iron Ladies".[16]

Farrow later resided in Pewaukee, Wisconsin with her husband. Her son Paul Farrow was elected Waukesha County Executive in 2015[17] and previously served in both chambers of the Wisconsin Legislature.[18] In 2013, she was appointed by Governor Scott Walker to serve on the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.[19] On December 7, 2017, she announced her immediate retirement from the UW System Board of Regents, stepping down before her term expired in 2020.[20]

Farrow died on March 8, 2022, at the age of 87 at her home in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.[21][22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Krause, Marilyn (March 9, 2022). "Frontlines: An unwavering trailblazer". Diggings. Fall 2019 – via Badger Institute.
  2. ^ Spencer, Samantha (March 9, 2022). "Former Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Margaret Farrow passes away". Blasting News. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  3. ^ "Margaret A. Farrow – University Honors – Marquette University". www.marquette.edu. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  4. ^ "Farrow, Margaret A. 1934". Wisconsinhistory.org. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  5. ^ "The State: The state of Wisconsin 1987–1988 blue book: Biographies and pictures". digicoll.library.wisc.edu. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  6. ^ "Margaret Farrow". Wisconsin Public Radio. August 27, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  7. ^ "Margaret Farrow". Urban Milwaukee. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  8. ^ "UW-Platteville welcomes UW System Board of Regents member Farrow". Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  9. ^ The State of Wisconsin Blue Book | Governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force on Passenger Rail. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, distributed by Document Sales. 1999. p. 296. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
  10. ^ "CNN.com – Doyle wins Wisconsin governor's race – Nov. 6, 2002". edition.cnn.com. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  11. ^ "James Doyle (Wisconsin) – Ballotpedia". Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  12. ^ Ruth Conniff. "July 4, 2003: The Patriot". The Isthmus, October 13, 2011. Accessed February 9, 2015.
  13. ^ Associated Press: Madison / Farrow named to 'Palin Truth Squad'. September 10, 2008.
  14. ^ "Board of Directors". wiseye.org. WisconsinEye. July 5, 2017. Archived from the original (web.archive.org) on July 5, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
  15. ^ "Waukesha County Business Alliance Board of Directors | 2010–2011 Board of Directors". waukesha.org. Archived from the original on January 21, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  16. ^ "Margaret Farrow Named Winner of Margaret Thatcher Award". Right Wisconsin. September 21, 2013. Archived from the original on November 7, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  17. ^ Behm, Dan (April 7, 2015). "Election 2015: Farrow elected Waukesha County exec; incumbent judge ousted". Milwaukee Sentinel Journal. www.jsonline.com. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
  18. ^ Jesse Garza (November 2, 2010). "Farrow wins in 98th Assembly District". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  19. ^ Wendy Strong. "Farrow among Walker appointments to UW Board of Regents". Milwaukee Business Journal, June 11, 2013.
  20. ^ Herzog, Karen (December 7, 2017). "Former Lt. Gov. Margaret Farrow, 83, retiring from UW System Board of Regents". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  21. ^ "First Female Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin Has Died". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. March 8, 2022. Retrieved March 8, 2022.
  22. ^ Margaret Ann Farrow obituary

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Wisconsin State Assembly
Preceded by Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from the 99th district
1986 – 1989
Succeeded by
Wisconsin Senate
Preceded by Member of the Wisconsin Senate from the 33rd district
1989 – 2001
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin
2001 – 2003
Succeeded by