ICYMI: Sarah Godlewski Can’t Keep Her Story Straight on Her Educational Background

[Madison, WI] – In case you missed it, Sarah Godlewski has joined the illustrious club for Wisconsin Democrat politicians who enjoy embellishing their resumes with lies about their educational background, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Monday. Over the years, several publications and websites, including Godlewski’s own Wikipedia page, have claimed that Godlewski holds a graduate degree that she never actually completed — much like Mandela Barnes, who previously lied to the press and the public about completing his Bachelor’s degree.

About half of the prospective 2022 Democrat primary field for U.S. Senate is now comprised of candidates who have misrepresented their educational background while running for office. If Sarah Godlewski and Mandela Barnes can lie about something so straightforward as whether or not they have a college degree, how can Wisconsinites trust anything they say going forward?

Read more from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here or find excerpts below.

Bice: State treasurer and likely U.S. Senate candidate Sarah Godlewski doesn’t have a master’s degree, after all
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Daniel Bice
April 12, 2021

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski does not have a graduate degree from an Ivy League university, despite what you may have read elsewhere.

Over the years, several publications and websites have said Godlewski — a Democrat who is expected to announce soon a bid for U.S. Senate — has a master’s degree in public administration from Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.


Information from the National Student Clearinghouse shows Godlewski attended the Fels Institute, off and on, as a part-time student from September 2011 to August 2015. The Eau Claire native left without earning a graduate degree from the prestigious university.

All of the websites and publications saying she has a master’s erred for their own specific reasons, Godlewski’s team members said. For example, they said, a now-deceased relative wrote her wedding announcement in 2015. Also, anyone can edit her Wiki page, they said, and the campaign bio is not on the official Clinton website.

Each outlet just happened to make the same error.


“Sarah Godlewski and Mandela Barnes should start a club for shady politicians who lie about their educational background in their quest for higher office,” said Anna Kelly, spokeswoman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “If Godlewski won’t be honest about something so straightforward as whether or not she has a Master’s degree, what else is she willing to lie about to get ahead?”

You may recall Barnes, the Democratic lieutenant governor, explicitly told media outlets, including the Journal Sentinel, that he had “finished” undergraduate college, even though he never got a degree from Alabama A&M University. Barnes is also considering a run for Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s seat in 2022.


One reason she was unable to make good on her initial timeline for completing the program was her growing student debt.

Along with starting her new job in Colorado, her representatives said, student loan debt was a “significant factor” in her decision to step away from the program in 2012. In all, she ran up $75,000 in loans, paying an interest rate of 9% on most of her graduate school loans, her reps say.

Simple and understandable.

Except Godlewski has explained the situation differently when talking about her student debt in interviews, tweets and podcasts.


Wait — “graduated” from what with $75,000 in debt? She can’t be referring to George Mason, her undergraduate school, since she borrowed a lot of those funds while at Penn, serving as a major reason she left the graduate program, according to her people.

So was she tacitly claiming she “graduated” from her master’s program? At the very least, her explanation is muddled.

Things soon got better financially for Godlewski. She married Maxim Duckworth, a multimillionaire investor from Maryland in September 2014 while she was on a yearlong break from the Fels Institute.

By 2018, Godlewski had enough money that she was able to lend $290,000 to her successful campaign for state treasurer. Yet, her reps say, she was still unable to finish her master’s because she had started a family with her husband and now had the responsibility of her new state job.