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Monday, November 14, 2016

 2:33 PM 

Steineke defeats challenge, will stay on as majority leader

Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, will stay on as Assembly majority leader following a vote today from the caucus.

Steineke beat back a challenge from Rep. Kevin Petersen, R-Waupaca, whom he praised after the vote. The totals for the vote weren’t released.

“It takes some guts to put your name on the ballot,” Steineke said.

Steineke was a frequent critic of Donald Trump and has been outspoken in calling for lawmakers to consider all options, including revenue increases, as they look to solve the state’s transportation funding gap.

Rep. Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, nominated Peterson to the spot, saying there’s “never nonsense or hyperbole” with him, with Rep. Jim Ott, R-Mequon, seconding the nomination.

“He was thoughtful and he reserved his comments for important issues,” Jarchow said. “I thought he was unflappable.”

But Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, nominated Steineke to the post again, and Rep. Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville, seconded the nomination. Novak, who faced a Dem challenger this fall, said Steineke helped boost his re-election campaign when “things were looking tough.”

“He’s a leader in the building, and he’s a leader outside the building,” Novak said.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, was also re-elected unanimously to another term as speaker. Rep. Rob Brooks, R-Saukville, will be assistant majority leader, and Rep. Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, will stay on as speaker pro tempore.

-- By Polo Rocha


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