Tony Evers, you've just won the race for Wisconsin Governor! What are you going to do next? You can bet one of the top three ways he'd like to answer is: "I'm going to Disney World." And in a way, he will. The reality is that in many ways he's already the Governor of Wisconsin, even if his title is Governor-Elect. Here are a few steps that a new governor will take in putting together a new administration.

Step 1: Setup a Successful Transition Plan and Team

In many ways, the task of transitioning from candidate to the top executive of the state is the first test for the new governor, and that person is often judged by how they manage the chaos of winding down the gubernatorial campaign and taking office. This transition is the first view people will have of the candidate-now governor-elect-as an executive. This plan and team actually begins well in advance of election day. 

UPDATE: Step one is complete. There will be five co-chairs of the transition: 

  • Chuck Pruitt, a partner and co-managing director of the A.B. Data Group. He's also a former member of the UW System Board of Regents. 
  • Amy Traynor, an Eau Claire teamer and former 2012-13 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year award recipient. 
  • Jan Allman, the president, CEO and general manager of the Marinette Marine Corp. 
  • Dr. Veronica Gunn, the CEO of Genesis Health Consulting and a board-certified pediatrician. 
  • Kevin Conroy, the chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences.

Step 2: Designate a Point of Contact

To clarify which are official requests, the governor will likely designate a single point of contact from each team as the conduit for the flow of information. These points of contact can immediately follow up and coordinate additional details about information-sharing. He will have shared the name of his designated transition director.

UPDATE: Step two has begun. Governor-Elect Tony Evers has announced that Maggie Gau will be his chief of staff. Gau most recently served as his campaign manager and previously worked as a legislative aide. Additionally, Evers announced that JoAnne Anton will be director of the transition team. Anton formerly worked as Senator Herb Kohl’s state director and now leads his philanthropic organization. 

Step 3: Request an Economic and Budget Briefing

Paramount in nearly everything the governor does during the transition is the budget process, particularly in Wisconsin where a new budget is already being worked on by every agency. Evers will request an economic and budget briefing as soon as possible with the understanding that the finance and budget staff will likely be in the midst of finalizing the outgoing governor's budget. The budget address is expected in early February 2019.

Step 4: Request an Emergency Response Briefing

Emergency officials are prepared to do this as it is a standard briefing. Governor-Elect Evers will ask for a full briefing on the powers, duties, and authorities of the governor in emergency situations as well as a complete briefing in the incident command structure. 

Step 5: Request a Listing of Major Legal Issues

Governor-Elect Evers will request a list of any major legal issues pending before state or federal courts that would require immediate attention upon assuming office. Working with the Attorney General is going to be a new experience for the former head of Public Instruction.

Step 6: Start Announcing Cabinet and Key Staff

Governor-Elect Evers be announcing several key people on his staff soon. These may include agency heads or other key staff. Here's a list of the current Wisconsin cabinet agencies and staff positions:


  • Administration
  • Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection
  • Children and Families
  • Corrections
  • Financial Institutions
  • Heath Services
  • Natural Resources
  • Revenue
  • Safety and Professional Services
  • Tourism
  • Transportation
  • Veterans Affairs
  • Workforce Development
  • Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
  • Public Service Commission
  • Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation


  • Chief of Staff
  • Deputy Chief of Staff
  • Communications Director
  • Appointments Director
  • Press Secretary

And he's not done after that... Here are more to-dos for the first 100 days in office from the National Governors Association: 

First 100 Days of Governing

The first 100 days are key to any new elected official and all eyes (even around the nation) are going to be on Tony Evers. What will his first 100 days look like?

Any Leftover Positions: 
Compile list of potential candidates for key positions; Prepare a list of all positions over which the governor has the discretion to hire; Establish a process for appointment decisions; Prioritize list of key appointments; Select, vet, and announce key positions; Establish “ground rules” for ethics and performance; Confirm key selections; Select and confirm remaining positions; Establishing operational hierarchy and communication channels; Establish clear expectations concerning vision and values; Conduct performance appraisals of agency management, policy development, and implementation; Establish a deliberative process for team building and encourage teamwork.

Develop comprehensive “issues” document to guide campaign and post-election activities; Inventory campaign promises and assign budget staff to cost them out; Establish “issues” working groups to expand outreach; Review revenue forecast and develop a process for handling amendments to the budget; Prioritize issues for action; Report back to “issues” groups.

Develop and execute scheduling, decision-making, communications, and reporting strategies; Perform an in-depth review of existing operational processes and modify to suit needs of new administration; Finalize and disseminate decision-making procedures; Adhere strictly to established decision-making procedures and information flow processes; Monitor and adjust key processes as necessary.

Simple, concise message repeated ad nausea, then develop and disseminate “how we will govern theme” with values and ethics statements for administration; Develop a communications strategy linked through every office function; Enhance efforts through social media and outreach with constituency groups; Consider regular press conferences to build the “rhythm” of administration; Refine efficient processes for legislative relations and constituent services and link closely with communications; Develop regular “cycles” around the administration's calendar: state of the state, budget address post-legislative session; Fully utilize cabinet as surrogates to get out the governor’s message.

Good Luck Governor-Elect Evers. We’re all counting on you.

WBA has also created an overview infographic of the election results which can be viewed on the Banconomics website by clicking here.