At a Glance
- Career History:
Republican Party (2007 to 2011); Candidate for State Senate (2004); Partner, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP (since 1998)
- Hometown: Kenosha, Wisc.
- Alma Mater: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, B.S., cum laude, 1994; University of Miami School of Law, J.D., 1998
- Spouse: Sally Priebus
Path To Power
Priebus was born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He stayed in his home state for college, attending the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Priebus became president of the student body and earned his bachelor's degree cum laude in 1994.
After college, Priebus spent a year working for the Wisconsin Legislature as a legislative assistant to three state lawmakers. He was also the committee clerk for the Assembly Education Committee.
Priebus, a rising star, has pledged to be a no-drama antidote to Steele's effusive and gaffe-prone tenure.
In a December 2010 letter announcing his candidacy for RNC chairman, Priebus promised "Less drama, more hard work, more results and more focus on winning."
Priebus was an early ally of Michael Steele. He was among the first RNC delegates to publicly announce support for Steele ahead of the 2009 RNC chair elections.
When Steele won, he brought Priebus on board the national RNC as an adviser. But in 2010, Priebus announced he would quit the RNC to challenge his former boss for the chairmanship. He won the endorsement of Henry Barbour, which was seen by some as an implicit endorsement from Barbour's uncle, Gov. Haley Barbour (R).
Preibus has often donated money to the Republican Party of Wisconsin and to Wisconsin candidates, including Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)