- Born Wausau, Wisconsin, June 16, 1950; married; 4 children, 3 grandchildren.
- Graduate Newman High School (Wausau); attended University of Wisconsin-Marathon County and Northcentral Technical College.
- Former ginseng, dairy, and beef farmer. Served in Army Reserve, 1968–74.
- Member: Seventh Congressional District, Marathon, Wood, Taylor, Rusk, Sawyer, Price, Lincoln, Portage, and Shawano County Republican Parties; Farm Bureau; National Rifle Association; Friends of Rib Mountain; Wausau Elks; Marathon Lions.
- Former member: Wisconsin Rifle and Pistol Association; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #1791; Childcare Connection Board; Department of Transportation Law Enforcement Advisory Council; Marathon County Hunger Coalition.
- Recipient: American Heart Association Legislator of the Year 2018, 2016, 2014;
End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin Legislative Leader Award 2014;
Wisconsin VFW Legislator of the Year 2014;
Wisconsin American Legion Legislator of the Year 2014;
Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans Legislator of the Year 2002;
Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Certificate of Commendation 2005;
Wisconsin Towns Association Friend of Wisconsin Towns Award 2016, 2014, 2011;
Wisconsin Counties Association Outstanding Legislator Award 2014;
Wisconsin Economic Development Association Working for Wisconsin Award 2018;
Wisconsin Urban and Rural Transit Association Legislative Statesman of the Year 2014;
Wisconsin Professional Police Association Legislator of the Year 2014;
Wisconsin Troopers Association Legislator of the Year 2014, 2003;
Center for Driver’s License Recovery and Employability Legislative Champion Award 2014; State Bar of Wisconsin Scales of Justice Award 2014;
Wisconsin Dental Association Legislative Champion Award 2013 & Award of Honor (Mission of Mercy) 2011;
Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians Friend of Family Medicine Award 2016, 2014;
American Academy of Pediatrics Childhood Legislative Advocate of the Year 2005;
Wisconsin Council on Physical Disabilities Appreciation Award 2014;
Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association Community Health Center Friend Award 2018;
Wisconsin Public Health Association Friend of Public Health Award 2016;
Wisconsin Electric Cooperatives Association Enlightened Legislator of the Year 2013;
Wisconsin Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture Award 2006, 2004;
Wisconsin Dairy Business Association Legislative Excellence Award 2018, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008;
Wisconsin Grocers Association Friend of the Grocers Award 2016, 2014, 2012, 2008, 2006;
Wisconsin Pork Association Distinguished Public Service Award 2016;
Wisconsin Builders Association Friend of Housing Award 2018, 2016, 2013, 2006;
Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin Building Wisconsin Award 2014;
State Farm Insurance Golden Car Seat Award 2007;
Chiropractic Society of Wisconsin Legislator of the Year 2014, Champion for Chiropractic Award 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015;
3M Award of Appreciation 2001;
Wisconsin Paper Council Champion of Paper Award 2007;
Wisconsin Technical College System Legislator of the Year Award 2016;
Wisconsin Technical College District Boards Association Legislator of the Year 2016;
UWSP Paper Science Foundation Friends of the Foundation Award 2005;
WMC Working for Wisconsin Award 2018, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2002, 2000;
MMAC Champion of Commerce Award 2016, 2014;
The American Conservative Union Defender of Liberty Award 2013;
Wisconsin Ginseng Board Assistance to the Wisconsin Ginseng Industry Award 2005;
Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association Hero Award 2014, 2012.
- Elected to Assembly 1998–2010. Elected to Senate in June 2012 special election. Reelected since 2014. Leadership positions: Majority Caucus Sergeant at Arms 2003–07.
Member of Building Commission, Highway Safety, Council on, Migrant Labor Council and Transportation Projects Commission