1-on-1 with Wisconsin's next lieutenant governor, Sara Rodriguez

Lieutenant Governor-Elect Sara Rodriguez will take office in January.
Sarah Rodriguez
Posted at 4:49 PM, Nov 10, 2022

WAUKESHA COUNTY, Wis. — Life has taken Lieutenant Governor-Elect Sara Rodriguez around the world, but her home is in Waukesha County where she grew up and currently lives.

Rodriguez stayed busy when she was a student at Brookfield East High School. She enjoyed softball, was a member of the forensics team and the debate team, and played the violin. Rodriguez said running for office was far from her mind.

Sarah Russell Rodriguez yearbook photo from Brookfield East High School.

After graduation, Rodriguez went to college at Illinois Wesleyan and then joined the Peace Corps. She went back to school at Johns Hopkins University, became a registered nurse, and worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Rodriguez's career took her to an executive position at a healthcare system and later launched a small business.

"I love to look at data. I love to look at healthcare. I love to be of service in a way to my community that's helpful," Rodriguez said.

In 2020, Rodriguez ran for a seat in the State Assembly as a Democrat and won. She cited frustration with the legislature's handling of the pandemic as her motivation.

This past Tuesday, Governor Tony Evers clinched a second term this time with Rodriguez by his side.

"I am just so grateful. I’m excited. I am ready to serve Wisconsin," Rodriguez said. "It has been a big challenge with a Democratic governor and Republican-led Assembly and Senate to be able to move things forward. But what’s been fantastic about what Governor Evers has done is that almost 99% of the bills he has signed have been bipartisan. I do think we can continue to have those conversations and can continue to move forward that is the goal."

In her new role, one issue rises to the top.

"Number one is of course healthcare. I think we can do better in terms of having more accessible and affordable healthcare here in Wisconsin. After I left one of my positions I actually opened up my own small business and I think there’s room for us to talk about that within Wisconsin, what can we do for small businesses," Rodriguez said.

Sarah Rodriguez at Fox Brook Park.

In her downtime, Rodriguez enjoys hiking and camping with family, as well as a wide range of music from J Balvin to Alison Krauss to Drop Kick Murphys. Her guilty pleasure is watching horror movies.

If there is anything she could tell her younger self, it is to keep your options open.

"You never know where life is going to take you. You never know what's going to happen, so when you see an opportunity, be open to taking that opportunity," Rodriguez said.

The lieutenant governor-elect will take office in January. In the meantime, Rodriguez is working with her predecessor Mandela Barnes on the transition and looking forward to spending time with family.

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