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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

 3:15 PM 

Shilling re-elected as minority leader, says Dems need to do 'better job' talking to voters

Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, was unanimously re-elected today to her spot.

Shilling, who is facing a recount in her re-election bid for the 32nd SD after holding on to a 56-vote lead, said “now more than ever” Dems need to hold Republican leaders accountable. And, she said, the party needs to “continue to stand up” for middle class families and ensure they’re hearing that message.

“We need to do a better job connecting with voters across Wisconsin who continue to be anxious about our stagnant economy,” Shilling said.

Shilling, like all the other leadership candidates today, was unopposed.

Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, will be the new assistant minority leader. Sen. Dave Hansen, who had been the assistant caucus leader for 16 years, declined to seek another term.

“I do think it’s time for someone else to take that up,” Hansen said. “I’m giving it up. It’s an emotional thing for me, but I appreciate those 16 years that I had.”

Shilling praised him for his “fierce, fierce loyalty” to Democratic causes, such as alleviating student debt and increasing the minimum wage.

Meanwhile, Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, will be caucus chair, taking the spot of Sen. Julie Lassa, a Stevens Point Dem who lost her seat to Republican Pat Testin.

And Sen. Janis Ringhand, D-Evansville, will be the caucus vice chair, taking over Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma.

-- By Polo Rocha


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