Larson supports Shilling for leader of state Senate Democrats

State Sen. Chris Larson says his decision not to seek another two years as leader of state Senate Democrats was a purely personal one, and he doesn’t know if he had the votes necessary to keep the post.

Larson announced Tuesday that he was bowing out of the race to be Senate minority leader, leaving Sen. Jennifer Shilling, of La Crosse, as the only announced candidate.

Larson says Shilling will be unanimously elected when Senate Democrats vote Wednesday.

Larson says it became obvious when he was making phone calls and preparing for the next two years as minority leaders that his wife was hoping he would lose. Larson says, “That’s not a recipe for long-term success.”

Republicans increased their state Senate majority from 18-15 to 19-14 following last week’s election.

Shilling released the following statement on the upcoming Senate Democratic leadership election:

“In speaking with my family, friends, and colleagues over the past week, I have been honored to receive broad support and encouragement in the decision to run for Senate Democratic Leader. I especially want to thank Senator Chris Larson for his ongoing friendship, leadership and support.

Senate Democrats are united in our goal to stand up for working families, strengthen our communities and build a brighter future for our state. I appreciate the support of my colleagues and look forward to serving as the next Senate Democratic Leader.

Senate Democrats are ready to advance clear ideas and proven solutions to address the challenges our state faces. Everyone in Wisconsin deserves the freedom to get ahead and we need to find new ways to promote economic opportunities and prosperity from the ground up.

We believe that in order to grow our economy, we must invest in our local public schools, support small business growth and build the infrastructure needed to compete in the 21st century. I look forward to tackling these issues as the next Senate Democratic Leader and working to provide greater freedom for Wisconsin families.”