Roll Call New Member Profiles: 113th Congress
- Pronounced: poe-CAN
- Election: Defeated Chad Lee, R, to succeed Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D, who ran for Senate
- Residence: Madison
- Born: Aug. 14, 1964; Kenosha, Wis.
- Religion: Unspecified
- Family: Partner, Philip Frank
- Education: U. of Wisconsin, B.A. 1986 (journalism)
- Career: Sign manufacturing company owner; Realtor association public relations director
- Political highlights: Dane County Board of Supervisors, 1991-96; Wis. Assembly, 1999-present
Mark Pocan, D-Wis.
Pocan continues to follow the path blazed by Democrat Tammy Baldwin, following her to the House 14 years after replacing her in the Wisconsin Assembly.
Like his predecessor, Pocan is an openly gay liberal from Madison who built a lengthy career in state politics. As a state legislator, Pocan fought for increased access to health care, campaign finance restrictions, gay rights and more power for organized labor. A union member himself, Pocan took a vocal role in opposing Republican Gov. Scott Walkers 2011 initiative to eliminate collective bargaining for state workers.
Pocan supports letting the George W. Bush-era tax cuts expire, approving the "Buffett rule" to impose a minimum tax on Americans making in excess of $1 million per year, reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, passing legislation that would provide a path to legalization for the children of some illegal immigrants, defending the 2010 health care overhaul and expanding Pell grants and student loans.
"We dont have a Congress really thats fighting for the middle class, and Ive spent my entire lifetime fighting for the middle class," he said in a mid-October candidates forum. "I have been there, and I have a reputation for getting things done, as well as working with people on the other side of the aisle."
Pocan plays the role of the dove on foreign policy, emphasizing that military intervention should occur only after exhausting all diplomatic efforts.