University of Wisconsin professor Mary Hoeft has never been shy about her opposition to Republicans. In her latest antic, the professor-turned-candidate Hoeft yelled at Congressman Sean Duffy (R) at a GOP-hosted brat fry on Labor Day because Duffy’s campaign team hadn’t agreed to do more debates with the underdog Hoeft. Duffy has already said he will participate in at least two debates with his Democratic opponent.
In early August, Hoeft won the Democratic primary in Wisconsin’s expansive 7th Congressional District, and she’s been insisting that Duffy and his campaign agree to a relatively large number of debates and joint appearances. But in an interesting move, instead of waiting for the respective campaigns to hammer the details out, Hoeft confronted Duffy – who was with his family – at a Labor Day event in Marathon County. Video of the hot-headed professor’s antics was caught by both campaigns and subsequently aired on WAOW television.
Before running for Congress, Hoeft worked full-time as a professor at UW-Barron County, where she taught multiple language classes. According to public records, she made $80,030 during the 2014-2015 academic year.
In April of 2014, Hoeft lashed out at Gov. Scott Walker’s UW tuition freeze, which was designed to save students and parents from having to pay for a tuition increase when the UW wasn’t working to achieve cost savings within its own bureaucracy. In a public letter, Hoeft wrote that the tuition freeze “threatens the survival” of UW colleges such as the one she teaches at.
In early 2016, Hoeft wrote in another public letter that tenure reforms at the UW would lead to the elimination of liberal arts classes and liberal arts programs and degrees. The tenure changes “made it easy to eliminate liberal arts programs” she claimed, without citing any evidence for her assertion.
Hoeft did sign the Walker recall petition in 2011.