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Lautenschlager, 1st female Wisconsin attorney general, dies

March 31, 2018

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — Peg Lautenschlager, a former Democratic state lawmaker and the first woman to serve as Wisconsin attorney general, died Saturday. She was 62.

Bill Rippl, her husband of 29 years, said she died shortly after midnight while surrounded by her family at the couple’s home in Fond du Lac. She had been diagnosed with cancer.

During a career that spanned more than 30 years, Lautenschlager served as a district attorney in Winnebago County, as a state representative and as a U.S. attorney in Madison. Lautenschlager won election as attorney general in 2002.

Lautenschlager was “one of Wisconsin’s most dedicated grassroots progressives, for whom no work was too small or too big in her fight for justice, fairness and opportunity for all Wisconsinites,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairwoman Martha Laning said in a written statement.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker described Lautenschlager as a “dedicated and passionate public servant.”

While attorney general, Lautenschlager was cited for drunken driving in 2004 after she drove her state car into a ditch. She then lost a re-election bid in 2006.

In 2016, she was appointed as the first commissioner of the newly formed Ethics Commission, from which she later resigned.

Her son, Josh Kaul, is now seeking the attorney general job his mother once held, as he challenges current Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel.

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