Jennifer Shilling to step down as Senate Democratic leader

Jennifer Shilling to step down as Senate Democratic leader

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State Sen. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, announced Tuesday she will step down as the Senate Democratic leader later this week.

Shilling announced earlier this month she would not seek another term this fall to spend more time with family after serving two decades in the Legislature.

“Given my recent announcement of non-candidacy, I believe new leadership in our caucus at this time will help to best represent our constituents and put Democrats in the best position to be successful in the months and years to come,” Shilling said in a statement.

Shilling added she will continue to serve the remainder of her term on the 32nd Senate District seat.

Her spokeswoman, Kate Constalie, said Senate Democrats plan to hold a virtual caucus by the end of the week to select the party’s next leader.

Shilling spent a decade in the Assembly before her election to the Senate in a 2011 recall election, when she unseated Sen. Dan Kapanke, who is running for the seat again after losing a rematch to Shilling in 2016 by 61 votes.

Shilling is the longest-serving female leader in Wisconsin legislative history, having served as minority leader since 2015, according to her office.

Shilling’s departure will create another open seat, as Democrats try to secure a majority in the Senate, which Republicans control 19-14.


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