Joel Kitchens Incumbent

Joel Kitchens

Candidate for Assembly District 01

Candidate Information

Candidate Biography

As the son of an FBI special agent, my family moved frequently while I was growing up. I was born in Washington, D.C. I finished elementary school, middle school, high school and college in four different states. While I know that I will never be considered a Door County “native,” Sturgeon Bay has become the hometown I never had as a child. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the Ohio State University and went on to get my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ohio State as well. Following graduation, I married my wife, Sherry Billett, who is also a veterinarian, and we moved to Horicon, Wisconsin. ​After a year as employed veterinarians, Sherry and I decided to start our own practice and we moved to Sturgeon Bay in 1984. Initially our practices were together, but as other veterinarians joined us, we split into a pet animal practice, Peninsula Veterinary Service, and a farm animal practice, Door County Veterinary Associates. In my work, I visited farms in both Door and Kewaunee counties caring for cattle, horses and other farm animals. The two practices grew over the years to the point where we employed several veterinarians. Sherry and I are the proud parents of three children, Rebecca, Caroline and Will. Rebecca is an attorney for an art auction house in New York, while Caroline works for a think tank in Washington, D.C. Will is employed by the Oshkosh Corporation in Oshkosh. I began my career in public service in 1999 when I ran for the Sturgeon Bay School Board. I viewed it as an opportunity to give back to the community that had been so good to me and my family. Our district was in severe financial distress at the time that I joined the board and we had lost the support of the people of Sturgeon Bay. I am very proud of the fact that through careful management, we put our district on sound financial footing. I served on the board for 15 years, 13 of those as president. When Garey Bies, our former Assembly representative, retired in 2014, I was approached about running to replace him. It has been a tremendous honor to represent the 1st Assembly District over the past six years. I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish, but there is still work to do.

Source: From candidate website