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Meet the State Journal's guest columnists from 2020
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Meet the State Journal's guest columnists from 2020

Police and protesters.

Politicians of all stripes.

Nurses and doctors on the front lines of the pandemic.

The list of guest columnists who wrote for the Wisconsin State Journal’s editorial page during the past year is long, diverse and impressive. We learned a lot from their insights and expertise, and we hope you did, too — even if you disagreed with, or were skeptical of, some perspectives.

The State Journal is committed to offering a wide range of views on our opinion pages, both in print and online. In fact, we provided a lot more space in the newspaper and on during 2020 for reader and guest submissions than we did for our own editorials by the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board. It’s all part of the lively yet civil mix of free speech that’s so vital to our democracy — and that our newspaper has been championing for 181 years. The debate and healthy exchange of ideas helps lead our community, state and nation forward.

Today we honor all of our guest columnists from 2020 by publishing their names. We also list our syndicated columnists who write for some of the top newspapers and media outlets across the country.

On Sunday, we’ll list the names of more than 1,200 State Journal readers whose 1,800 letters to the editor were published during 2020.

Whether you are an expert in your field or an everyday citizen who has something to say about your community, we encourage you to continue to send your views to your trusted daily newspaper at (Please include your address and phone number for verification purposes. Guest columns run about 500 words. Letters to the editor are about 200.)

While you’re at it, renew or start your subscription at You’ll be supporting the most in-depth journalism in Wisconsin, as well as your community’s best place to discuss public policy and decisions.

Here’s to another year of great commentary on the editorial page in 2021 that makes us all think a little harder and exposes us to new ideas. All of our guest columnists from 2020 are listed below:

Steve Ackerman, UW–Madison professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences

Dan Adams, attorney, Milwaukee

Masood Akhtar, president, We Are Many — United Against Hate

Jonathan Anderson, former Wisconsin journalist

Deb Archer, president and CEO, Destination Madison

Rep. Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva

Ty Babinski, board member, Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families

Jake Baggott, executive director, University Health Services, UW-Madison

Charles W. Baird, California State University

Nila Bala, criminal justice associate director, R Street Institute

Rep. Samba Baldeh, D-Madison, and Madison alderman

Samba Baldeh


Julianna Baldo, senior, Madison Memorial High School

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison

Colleen D. Ball, appellate lawyer, Milwaukee

Mary Battenfeld, clinical professor of American and New England studies, Boston University

Stephen Blitz, retired real estate lawyer, Republican Voters Against Trump

Stephanie Bloomingdale, president of Wisconsin AFL-CIO

Thomas J. Bollyky, director of global health program, Council on Foreign Relations

Lindsey Botts, Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin blog

Doug Bradley, chief public information officer, UW-Extension

Zach Brandon, president, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

Barry Burden, director, Elections Research Center, UW-Madison

George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States

George W. Bush


W. Joseph Campbell, professor of communication studies, American University

Crystal Cazier, Global Health Initiative, George W. Bush Institute

Lisa Cestkowski, journalist

Mo Cheeks, former Madison City Council member

Dave Cieslewicz, former mayor of Madison

Denise Collins, Greenfield City Council

Dr. Paige Condit, pediatrics resident physician, UW Hospitals and Clinics

Bill Connors, executive director, Smart Growth Greater Madison

David Couper, Episcopal Church priest, former Madison police chief

Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay

Steve Cramer, professor of civil and environmental engineering, UW-Madison

Dawn Crim, secretary-designee of the state Department of Safety and Professional Services

Tim Cullen, former Wisconsin Senate majority leader

Don Daugherty, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty

Dirk J. Debbink, retired vice admiral, United States Navy

David Dodson, former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate

Donald Downs, professor emeritus, UW-Madison

Robert Driscoll, Milwaukee attorney who studied under now Justice Amy Coney Barrett

Bill Dwyre, former sports editor, Los Angeles Times

John M. Eason, associate professor of sociology, UW-Madison

Analiese Eicher, chair, Dane County Board

Patrick Elliott, Freedom From Religion Foundation

Tom Emery, historical researcher and writer

Danielle Endvick, Wisconsin Farmers Union

Rick Esenberg, president, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty

Rick Esenberg


Heidi Li Feldman, professor of law, Georgetown University

Liz Fentress, Citizens’ Climate Lobby

U.S. Rep.-elect Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau

John Foust, computer consultant, Jefferson

Brian Fraley, Republican political consultant

Allison Frankel, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union

Dan Frei, board member, Madison Professional Police Officers Association

U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay

David Goldenberg, Midwest regional director, Anti-Defamation League

Diane C. Gooding, professor of psychology, UW-Madison

Howard Gorrell, Republican opponent of partisan gerrymandering in Maryland

Avi Gupta, reigning “Jeopardy! Teen Tournament” champion, Stanford University

Camille Haney, co-chair, Friends of Forward Committee

Kamala Harris, vice president-elect of the United States

Kamala Harris


Natalie A. Harris, media defense lawyer, Chicago

Jay Heck, executive director, Common Cause in Wisconsin

Christopher Heimerman, author, “40,000 Steps”

Melinda Heinritz, executive director, Schools Make Madison Advocacy

Elizabeth Heubeck, Baltimore-based freelance writer

Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, Assembly minority leader

Jeff Hoffman, NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association

Mike Holmgren, former head coach of the Green Bay Packers

Mike Holmgren


Scott Huiras, retired insurance executive and attorney

Dr. Barbara Humme, family physician, Greenfield

Jean Hunleth, assistant professor of public health, Washington University

Greg Hutchins, Wisconsin’s 4-H youth development director

Bradley Hutter, president, Smart Growth Greater Madison

Donald J. Hying, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Madison

Nick Hylla, executive director, Midwest Renewable Energy Association

Armando Ibarra, associate professor, School for Workers, UW-Madison

Sheldon H. Jacobson, professor of computer science, University of Illinois

Dr. Stephanie Farrell Jaeckle, pediatric psychologist

Ryan D. Jayne, staff attorney, Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation

Sen. LaTonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee

Michael Johnson, president and chief executive officer, Boy & Girls Club of Dane County

Jim Johnson, sheriff of Ozaukee County

Janet A. Jokela, University of Illinois

Melissa Jones, executive director, Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative/Rise Together

Lisa Jones-Engel, former primate scientist and advisor to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Mary Jorgensen, UW Health nurse

George Kamperschroer, former Madison Police and Fire Commission member

Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield

Josh Kaul, Wisconsin attorney general

Jennifer Kavanagh, Countering Truth Decay

Fred Kessler, former Democratic state representative

Taylor Kilgore, Simpson Street Free Press

Elizabeth Koehler, state director, The Nature Conservancy

James Kramer, Simpson Street Free Press

Mark LaBarbera, co-chair, Hunting Works For Wisconsin

Lauren Leader, CEO, All In Together

Judith W. Leavitt, professor emerita of the history of medicine, UW-Madison

Lewis A. Leavitt, professor emeritus of pediatrics, UW-Madison

Jay Lee, vice chairman, Foxconn Technology Group

Jon Levine, director, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center

Steven Lewis, Canadian health policy analyst

Harry Litman, former U.S. attorney

Bill Lueders, president, Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council

Jacki Lynn, board member, School of Architecture at Taliesin

Marina Maes, assistant professor, pharmacy, UW-Madison

Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green

Michael May, former city of Madison attorney

Scott McCallum, 43rd governor of Wisconsin

Bill McCoshen, former Wisconsin Commerce secretary

Andrea K. McDaniels, deputy editorial page editor, The Baltimore Sun

Peter McKeever, executive director, Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Ed McMahon, board chairman, National Main Street Center

Michael McRobbie, president, Indiana University

Margaret Menge, freelance journalist

Renee Moe, president and CEO, United Way of Dane County

Renee Moe


Anna Moffit, executive director, NAMI-Dane County.

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee

Gissela Moya, The Greenlining Institute

Levon Myers, Madison protester

Judy Nagel, retired investment officer, Wells Fargo Advisors

Peter Navarro, assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy, White House

Teri Nicolai, advocate for survivors of domestic violence

Paula Niedenthal, professor of psychology, UW-Madison

Rep. Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville

Jim Nowlan, retired professor of American politics

Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette

Aissa Olivarez, managing attorney, Community Immigration Law Center

Pamela Oliver, emeritus professor of sociology, UW-Madison

Jim Palmer, executive director, Wisconsin Professional Police Association

Stewart M. Patrick, director of the global governance program, Council on Foreign Relations

Jonathan Patz, director, Global Health Institute, UW-Madison

Greg Peck, author and retired opinion page editor, The Janesville Gazette

Andrew S. Petersen, president, UW Board of Regents

Amber Petrovich, Madison native, investment writer

Mark Peysakhovich, lobbyist for the cannabis industry

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Black Earth

Steven Potter, Madison reporter and radio producer

Gary M. Powell, teacher, West High School, Madison

Stephen Prothero, religion professor, Boston University

Angela Rachidi, poverty studies, American Enterprise Institute

Margo Redmond, former lobbyist and teacher

Brian Reisinger, chief operating officer, Platform Communications

Gloria Reyes, president, Madison School Board

Gloria Reyes


Hannah Reynolds, junior anthropology student, Princeton University

Satya Rhodes-Conway, mayor of Madison

Reid Ribble, former Republican member of Congress

Laurel Rice, doctor and professor, UW-Madison

Michael D. Rich, president and chief executive officer, Rand Corp.

Elizabeth (Buffy) Riley, registered nurse, Hayward

Barbara J. Risma, professor of sociology, University of Illinois

Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison

Matt Rothschild, executive director, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

Dr. Caitlin Rublee, emergency medicine physician, Milwaukee

Denice Ryan, social worker and freelance writer

Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin

Ruth Schmidt, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association

Gretchen Schuldt, executive director, Wisconsin Justice Initiative

Dale Schultz, former Senate majority leader

Dan Schweiker, governing board, School of Architecture at Taliesin

Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, George W. Bush Institute

Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point

Susan Shapcott, owner, Change Golf Instruction

Hannah Sherfinski, student, School of Medicine and Public Health, UW-Madison

Sen. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse

E.R. Shipp, journalist in residence, Morgan State University

Sen. Jeff Smith, D-Eau Claire

Julie Spray, postdoctoral research associate of public health, Washington University

Dr. James Stein, UW School of Medicine and Public Health

Walter C. Stern, assistant professor of educational policy studies and history, UW–Madison

Dan Stier, public health law consultant, formerly of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dan Strause, president, Hometown Pharmacies

Rep. Lisa Subeck, D-Madison

Anand Swaminathan, attorney for family of Tony Robinson

Anand Swaminathan


Richie Swanson, president, Winona, Minnesota, Bird Club.

Loren Sweatt, principal deputy assistant secretary, Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Chris Talgo, Heartland Institute

Carolyn Stanford Taylor, superintendent of public instruction

Timothy Thompkins, retired affirmative action officer, Kenosha

Tommy Thompson, president, University of Wisconsin System

U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua

Maurizio Valsania, professor of American history, University of Turin, Italy

John J. Vander Meer, CEO, Wisconsin Health Care Association and the Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living

J.B. Van Hollen, former Wisconsin attorney general

Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester

Rep. Don Vruwink, D-Milton

Scott Walker, former governor of Wisconsin

Don Waller, forest ecologist and conservation biologist

Ani Weaver, UW Health nurse

Christa Westerberg, co-vice president, Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council

Kathleen Wilkes, longtime labor journalist

Cheryle Wittke, Safe Communities of Madison-Dane County

Timothy Yu, president, UW-Madison chapter of the American Association of University Professors

Luis Yudice, retired assistant chief, Madison Police Department

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