Patrick Joseph Lucey

21 Mar 1918
10 May 2014
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Patrick Joseph Lucey (March 21, 1918 – May 10, 2014) was a member of the United States Democratic Party who served as the 38th Governor of Wisconsin from 1971 to 1977. In 1977, he was appointed ambassador to Mexico by President Jimmy Carter, a post he held until 1979. He was an independent vice-presidential candidate in 1980 with John Anderson.

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.

The John Anderson—Patrick Lucey presidential ticket received 5,719,850 votes for 6.6 percent of the total vote in the 1980 presidential election, despite a 25% showing in early polls by Anderson and a spirited televised debate between Anderson and Ronald Reagan.

In 2011, Lucey, although a Democrat, acted as David Prosser’s campaign co-chairman. On March 31, 2011, he resigned from Prosser’s campaign and endorsed JoAnne Kloppenburg, attributing his decision to Prosser’s “disturbing distemper and lack of civility”, while praising Kloppenburg for ” throughout the campaign to even-handedness and non-partisanship and both promising judicial temperament and good grace, even in the heat of a fierce campaign.”

Lucey died on May 10, 2014, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the age of 96.

In September 2009, Lucey was honored with a Wisconsin Historical Society marker in Ferryville. In October 2013, Wisconsin Highway 35 between Ferryville and Prairie du Chien was renamed the “Governor Patrick Lucey Highway” in his honor.

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