Elector, former hostage, maintains hope in the people

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON, Wis. – Kevin Hermening has truly had a wonderful life.

For nearly 30 years Hermening has owned and operated a successful financial planning firm based in Wausau. He’s an accomplished speaker, he’s widely respected in conservative politics and has a wife and two daughters who think the world of him.

The Marine Corps veteran was the youngest of the 52 Americans held hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Iran for 444 days from 1979 to 1981. He received the Prisoner of War Medal and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the nation’s highest peacetime military decorations from the Department of Defense.

And on Monday, Hermening is going to college.

The Electoral College.

Hermening is one of Wisconsin’s 10 electors, pledged to vote for President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

“It is a privilege and I’m just looking forward to the opportunity of representing the people of the state of Wisconsin and doing our constitutional requirement and that is joining the Electoral College and of course voting in the State Capitol on Monday,”  Hermening told Wisconsin Watchdog this week on the Vicki McKenna Show, on NewsTalk 1310 WIBA.

That privilege came by chance.

Hermening was tapped to fill the 7th Congressional elector roll vacated by Jim Miller, who in October joined U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy’s staff as outreach representative for the Wisconsin Republican. Miller’s new position disqualified him as an elector.

Hermening is no “faithless elector.” He has no intention of listening to the din of the left and even some in his own party calling for the Electoral College to consider rejecting the people of their states’ will.

He has special incentive to remain faithful.

“My wife threatened to ‘Lorena Bobbitt’ me if something happened,” Hermening said, chuckling. (Fellows, Google Lorena Bobbit. It’s not a happy ending.)

Actually, his wife, Wendy, was “on the Trump train from the beginning,” Hermening said.

Paul Sracic, a political science professor at Youngstown State University and expert on the electoral process, told the Washington Examiner not to expect a flood of faithless electors next week.

“While it is not that uncommon to have one faithless elector, those who oppose Trump would need 37 faithless electors to deny Trump the majority demanded by the Constitution,” Sracic told the publication.

Hermening said America was ready for a change, despite all of the “identity politics” of the left. The act of voting for Donald Trump does not make anyone a bigot or a misogynist or a homophobe or any of the other litany of phobes liberals have tried to tag Trump voters with.


At the Republican Party booth he has worked for the past 29 county fairs,  Hermening said he found 70 percent of people who approached him seeking Trump bumper stickers and yards signs were middle-aged women.

“The very people we heard from the mass media definitely were not going to support Donald Trump,” he said.

While Jill Stein and the Green Party’s $3.5 million presidential recount in Wisconsin raised questions about whether Hermening and his fellow electors would be locked out of the Electoral College, the former hostage had no doubt the people – again – would come through.

“I had all the faith in the world in our local election officials and the volunteers and the paid people who stepped up in doing the work again that was done well on Nov. 8 and well into the morning of the 9th,” he said.

This article originally appeared at Watchdog.org.

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