Senate Democrats pick Shilling as leader

Wisconsin Senate Democrats pick Shilling as leader

Wisconsin Democrats have chosen Jennifer Shilling as the new state Senate minority leader.

Senate Democrats met for the first time Wednesday after Republicans used the Nov. 4 elections to build a 19-14 majority in the chamber, up from 18-15 last session. The Democrats voted unanimously to make Shilling their new leader.

Sen. Chris Larson of Milwaukee served as minority leader last session but stepped down after he failed to muster enough support among his colleagues to hold onto the position.

Shilling represents the 32nd State Senate District which covers La Crosse, Vernon, Crawford and part of Monroe Counties.

Republicans also emerged from the elections with a 62-36 advantage in the state Assembly with one race still too close to call. With Gov. Scott Walker’s victory over Democrat Mary Burke, Republicans have complete control of state government.

Sen. Shilling released the following statement:

“I am honored that my colleagues have entrusted me with the responsibility of serving as the next Senate Democratic Leader. I am excited to work with all of my colleagues in the Senate and bring our Democratic values and ideals to the table.

We have a diverse Democratic caucus, rich in talent and strong in our convictions. The next two years will present many challenges, but there will also be many opportunities when we are unified in our efforts. We know that by working together, we can strengthen our communities, grow our economy and build a brighter future for all Wisconsin families.”

In addition to unanimously electing Sen. Shilling as the Senate Democratic Leader, the following senators were unanimously elected to Democratic leadership posts: Assistant Leader Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), Caucus Chair Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) and Caucus Vice-Chair Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma).