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  Lucey, Patrick J.
NamePatrick J. Lucey
Maple Bluff, Wisconsin , United States
Born March 21, 1918
DiedMay 10, 2014 (96 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedRBH
Jun 28, 2020 01:54pm
Tags U.S. Army -
InfoBorn in La Crosse, La Crosse County, Wis., March 21, 1918. Served in the U.S. Army during World War II; member of Wisconsin state assembly, 1949-50; alternate delegate to Democratic National Convention from Wisconsin, 1952; Wisconsin Democratic state chair, 1957-63; Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, 1965-67; Governor of Wisconsin, 1971-77; defeated (Democratic), 1966; U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, 1977-79; Independent candidate for Vice President of the United States, 1980.

Patrick Joseph Lucey (born March 21, 1918 in La Crosse, Wisconsin) is a member of the Democratic Party who served as governor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin from 1971 to 1977. In 1977, Lucey was appointed ambassador to Mexico by President Jimmy Carter, a post he held until 1979. Lucey was also an independent vice-presidential candidate in 1980 with John Anderson.

Lucey graduated from Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin in 1935. Lucey went to St. Thomas College and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lucey served as justice of the peace in Ferryville, Wisconsin, and in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1949-1951.

[edit] University of Wisconsin System merger
One of Lucey's executive initiatives was to revive an idea to merge the state's two university systems, the Wisconsin State University (WSU) system and the pre-eminent University of Wisconsin (UW), in Madison. The idea was suggested in the 1890s, then revived in the 1940s and 1950s by governor Oscar Rennebohm and governor Walter J. Kohler, Jr.

In 1971, Lucey raised the issue again, saying a merger would contain the growing costs of two systems; give order to the increasing higher education demands of the state; control program duplication; and provide for a united voice and single UW budget.

Not surprisingly, Madison faculty and administrators by and large opposed the merger, fearing it would diminish the great state university. Most WSU faculty and administrators favored merger, believing it would add prestige to their institutions and level the playing field for state funding.

Merger legislation easily passed the Democratic-controlled Assembly. After much maneuvering and lobbying, it was approved by a one-vote margin in the Republican-controlled Senate. It took until 1974 for implementation legislation to be finalized. "I had to be pretty heavy-handed — no merger, no budget," said Lucey in an interview following his term in office.

Presently, the University of Wisconsin System each year educates more than 155,000 students on 26 campuses and 1 million citizens through the UW-Extension.

[edit] Other gubernatorial accomplishments
Lucey also recommended additional funding for tourism, which spurred development throughout the state. Two examples were the expansion of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources park system and the Mt. Telemark Resort in Cable, Wisconsin. Since 1974, Cable and Mt. Telemark hosts the American Birkebeiner each year, the largest cross-country ski race in North America.

[edit] 1980 Vice Presidential campaign
The John Anderson-Lucey presidential ticket polled 7% of the vote in the U.S. presidential election, 1980, despite a 25% showing in early polls by Anderson and a spirited televised debate between Anderson and Ronald Reagan.


Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor

Importance? 9.00000 Average


  11/04/1980 US Vice President Lost 0.00% (-90.89%)
  08/14/1980 US Vice President - D Convention Lost 0.09% (-72.81%)
  07/25/1980 US Vice President - NUP Selection Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  05/26/1977 US Ambassador to Mexico Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/05/1974 WI Governor Won 53.20% (+11.12%)
  09/10/1974 WI Governor - D Primary Won 78.22% (+56.44%)
  07/13/1972 US Vice President - D Convention Lost 0.00% (-59.07%)
  11/03/1970 WI Governor Won 54.24% (+9.37%)
  09/08/1970 WI Governor - D Primary Won 60.66% (+24.50%)
  11/08/1966 WI Governor Lost 46.09% (-7.42%)
  09/13/1966 WI Governor - D Primary Won 45.22% (+11.47%)
  11/03/1964 WI Lt. Governor Won 51.24% (+2.48%)
  11/07/1950 WI District 03 Lost 41.04% (-17.72%)
WI Governor - Recall - D Primary - May 08, 2012 D Tom Barrett
WI Supreme Court Justice - Apr 05, 2011 D JoAnne Kloppenburg
WI Lt. Governor - D Primary - Sep 14, 2010 D Henry Sanders
WI Ballot Measure - Ban Gay Marriage Amendment - Nov 07, 2006 NO No
WI US President - D Primary - Apr 04, 2000 D Bill Bradley
US President - D Primaries - Jul 01, 2000 D Bill Bradley
WI US President - D Primary - Apr 05, 1988 D Michael S. Dukakis
WI US President - D Primary - Apr 01, 1980 D Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy