Joan Ballweg

Joan A. Ballweg

Candidate for State Senate 14

Candidate Information

Candidate Biography

Joan Ballweg was born the oldest of four to a first generation American in West Allis, Wisconsin on March 16, 1952. After graduating from Nathan Hale High School in 1970, Joan received her Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. Joan and her husband Tom were married in 1974 and settled down in Markesan in 1976 after purchasing an existing John Deere agricultural and lawn equipment dealership, now known as Ballweg Implement.

While Joan and Tom ran a successful John Deere dealership together in Markesan, Joan began to demonstrate her leadership and commitment to the community. In 1984, she chaired the Markesan Revitalization Committee and in the spring of 1986 was elected as Alderperson to the Markesan City Council. Joan helped to found the Markesan PTA in 1987 and served as its president in 1989. She served as alderperson to the Markesan City Council until being elected Mayor in the spring of 1990, a capacity in which she served until 1997.

Joan has exhibited leadership in education, business and health care. She participated as a spokesperson for the successful Markesan school district building referendum in 1998 and served as a member of the Waupun Memorial Hospital Board of Directors from 1999 to 2005, serving as Board Chairperson from 2002 to 2005.

After winning a nine-way Republican primary, Joan was elected in November 2004 to represent Wisconsin’s 41st district in the State Assembly. Now in her eighth term, Joan serves as Co-chair of the Joint Committee on Review of Administrative Rules, and on the Children and Families, Colleges and Universities, International Affairs and Commerce, Jobs and the Economy, Mental Health, Regulatory Licensing Reform, Rules, Tourism, and the Joint Legislative Council. In 2019, Joan chaired the Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention and became the National Chair for the Council of State Governments. In 2020, she was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt.

Joan has authored legislation impacting agriculture, small businesses, health care, education, state preparedness and homeland security in the State of Wisconsin. She has fought to expand the eligibility of financial aid to part time and non-traditional students; authored legislation to create the Donate Life Wisconsin license plates in an effort to raise awareness and funds for organ donation; created a one-day fishing license for residents and non-residents to purchase, and is dedicated to promoting policies that support healthy early childhood development.

Joan and her husband Tom live in Markesan. They have three adult children and three grandchildren.