Second candidate emerges for Branch II judge

By Brandi Makuski

A Stevens Point defense attorney has announced his intention to seek a circuit court judge seat.

Steven Sawyer, 63, is running for Branch II judge in the Portage Co. Circuit Court system.

Sawyer is a native of the Milwaukee area and attended college in Fort Collins, Colo., then joined the United States Navy. He served eight-and-a-half years as an officer and helicopter pilot in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War. Later, he flew a regular flight schedule to and from the Pentagon and performed search-and-rescue missions off the coast of Florida.

Sawyer said he and his crews were credited with saving 30 lives through at-sea rescues and medical evacuations. He has been awarded the Joint Services Expeditionary Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal.

Sawyer moved to Stevens Point in 2006 when his wife, also a defense attorney, got a job in the area. He’s also served on the city’s Redevelopment Authority and has served in various leadership positions for the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors, and as a board member for the Portage County Legal Aid Society.

Sawyer has been a criminal defense attorney in the Central Wisconsin region since 2003 and previously worked as an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee Co. He also has experience as a corporate finance and financial institutions attorney in Milwaukee.

Sawyer ran for the city’s District 6 Council seat in 2020 but lost to incumbent Jeremy Slowinski. During that campaign, Sawyer told the Metro Wire he was interested in saving green space and reusing existing buildings whenever possible.

Sawyer faces off against Louis Molepske, Jr., who is currently the Portage Co. District Attorney, in the April 5 election. Branch II Judge Robert Shannon will not seek another term.