Kathy Evers is the wife of Tony Evers, the Wisconsin state Schools Superintendent who is challenging incumbent Governor Scott Walker. Kathy and Tony Evers were high school sweethearts, but they met even earlier than that.
In one of the most interesting gubernatorial races in the country, Evers faces off against Walker, who gained national recognition for his controversial collective bargaining reforms and who survived a contentious recall and a failed run for president.
Tony Evers has led in most polls. Who is Kathy Evers, the woman who would become Wisconsin’s new First Lady if her husband is successful?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Kathy Evers Met Tony Evers in Kindergarten Class
Kathy and Tony Evers both grew up in small town Plymouth, Wisconsin. That’s a town of about 8,400 people that’s located in Sheboygan County. According to Tony Evers’ campaign biography, he met his wife in kindergarten class in that town.
“Some of the most meaningful moments in my life happened in the classroom. I met my wife Kathy in Mrs. Potter’s kindergarten class in my hometown of Plymouth, Wisconsin,” wrote Evers.
Evers then described his other notable classroom experiences; “My first job was teaching science in Baraboo. Before becoming State Superintendent, I was a high school principal in Tomah, and I ran school districts in Oakfield and Verona,” his campaign biography says.
2. Kathy & Tony Evers Have Three Children Together
Tony Evers has a family of five; his wife, Kathy, and their three children. He discusses how their children attended public schools in his campaign biography.
“I’m not only an educator – I’m also a parent. My three kids attended public schools in communities around the state. No matter where the Evers family ended up, we were welcomed by the community,” the biography notes.
Evers and his wife also have seven grandchildren together; Kathy is also an educator. “Born and raised in Plymouth, Wisconsin, Dr. Evers graduated from Plymouth High School and earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Evers is married to his high school sweetheart, Kathy, an educator. They are parents of three adult children, all public school graduates, and have seven grandchildren,” says his DPI biography.
Tony Evers wrote on Facebook, “While campaign life gets a little hectic sometimes, family must always come first. I enjoy every single moment I get to spend with Kathy, my kids and grandkids.”
3. Tony Evers Is a Cancer Survivor & His Daughter Is a Doctor
A story in the Green Bay Press Gazette explains that Tony Evers is a cancer survivor and mentions that his daughter with Kathy – Erin – is a doctor.
“She said, ‘You have to get rid of this,'” Evers recalled of the cancer, which was cancer of the esophagus. “We decided the most aggressive way to deal with it was to have surgery — it’s essentially like rough carpentry. They cut it out, pull it out, and there you go. And, thank God, we did — it worked.”
The couple’s other children are named Nick and Katie.
4. Evers & His Wife Had Their First Date at Prom & He Says She’s His Best Friend
Although they met in kindergarten, Evers and his wife Kathy did not become a couple until their first date – at their junior prom.
On June 8, 2018, Tony Evers wrote on Facebook, “Happy #NationalBestFriendsDay to my wife, Kathy. We met in kindergarten, our first date was Junior Prom and you’ve been my best friend and the love of my life ever since!”
Former Vice President Joe Biden brought the kindergarten meeting lore to center stage when he stumped for Evers and brought Kathy on stage to tell the tale.
He joked that Evers “owes a lot to Wisconsin’s public schools” because of how he met Kathy and then joked, “She was too young to resist,” The Cap Times reported.
The campaign has highlighted Kathy Evers in a “Women for Tony” effort, writing, “Please join Kathy Evers in building a network of women around the state who care about public education, affordable healthcare, a clean and safe environment and common decency in government. Tony stands for all of these Wisconsin values with us.”
5. Tony & Kathy Evers Once Lived in Austria & Love the Wisconsin State Fair
Although Tony Evers has quite a long career in education in Wisconsin, the Press Gazette notes that he and his wife once lived in Austria. They had such a small heater that they had to take turns sleeping by it to stay warm, the newspaper reports.
On Facebook, Tony Evers has posted photos with his wife at Milwaukee Brewers’ games, writing with one, “What a game! So excited to be with Kathy cheering on the Brewers at Miller Park tonight!”
He also indicated that they love the Wisconsin State Fair, writing, “Kathy and I love the Wisconsin State Fair! We’ve gone every single year since we were in high school. The WI Products Pavilion ice cream with the Door Co cherries is the best!”