The Assembly will swear in its new members on Jan. 7 with the last 10 Assembly speakers invited to attend the ceremony. “This will be a great way to honor the former speakers, Democratic and Republican,” said Speaker-elect Vos in a release. “As we move into the second century in the legislature, it’s important that we celebrate the past and focus on working together for a better future.”
A reception for Assembly members and their families will be held at the Wisconsin Historical Museum afterward.
Representatives of WEAC, the League of Conservation Voters and others called Dem senators ahead of Tuesday's leadership vote urging them to support Chris Larson, according to multiple sources and one lawmaker who received the calls.
Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, downplayed the influence outside groups had on Tuesday's result in which Larson beat Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, in an 8-7 vote. Lehman said the input from his colleagues and Larson had greater weight on his ultimate decision to back the 32-year-old Milwaukee lawmaker.
Still, Lehman acknowledged it was unusual to have third parties lobby members ahead of a leadership vote.
"What Chris sold himself on was being involved in many other races, recruiting candidates, raising money and effectively helping people get elected, and that's what I want to do in the future. That's the big role of the leaders," Lehman said.
Senate Democrats today elected freshman Sen. Chris Larson of Milwaukee to serve as minority leader for the upcoming session.
"I am humbled by the confidence my fellow senators have in me by electing me their leader," Larson said in a press release. "Wisconsin voters spoke loud and clear on November 6. They want Democratic and Republican lawmakers to move the state forward with programs and policies that reflect our shared values. For the sake of Wisconsin's future, I encourage members of the Legislature to work together as Wisconsinites by casting off our partisan labels and setting aside any politically divisive agendas."
Assembly Republicans today unanimously picked Rochester's Robin Vos to serve as speaker.
“As speaker, my goal is to create a more efficient and effective state Assembly where the debate is vibrant but also relevant,” Vos said in a prepared statement. “I welcome a free-flow of ideas because I believe the best ideas are the ones reached together.”
Scott Suder of Abbotsford was a unanimous pick to return as majority leader.
“The upcoming session will provide opportunities for all of us to work together to do the people’s business," Suder said in a press release. "We can work in a bipartisan manner and not lose sight of the promises we made to voters.”