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Former La Crosse native sworn in as first black Republican in Wisconsin State Senate

Kaitlyn Riley



Pictures were provided by 3rd Congressional District GOP Chairman Bill Feehan who Bradley invited to attend the ceremony.

The Wisconsin State Senate made history Monday when it gathered to swear in new members and begin the first legislative session in 2021.

Julian Bradley became Wisconsin’s first black Republican state senator after being sworn in by the Wisconsin Elections Commission at 10 a.m. Jan. 4. He will represent the 28th District, which includes parts of Milwaukee, Racine, Walworth, and Waukesha counties.

In the past, Bradley served as the La Crosse County Republican Party chairman and 3rd Congressional District GOP vice-chairman. He has been a candidate for secretary of state and the 94th assembly district in La Crosse County.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Wisconsin, Bradley graduated from Central High School in La Crosse. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse with a degree in political science and economics. Bradley was a former pro-wrestler. He also worked as a telecommunications manager for CenturyLink from 2002 to 2019 and worked as an operations manager for Northwestern Mutual from 2019 to 2020. He currently resides in Franklin, Wis.

In his first term, Senator Bradley said he will utilize his private sector experience by serving as chairman of the Senate Committee on Utilities, Technology, and Telecommunications and as a member of the Joint Committee on the Review of Administrative Rules.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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