After last week’s election, Wisconsin’s Assembly began the process of selecting leaders.
Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, won Speaker of the Assembly, and Republicans now make up the majority of the Senate and Assembly as well, according to the Associated Press.
As for the Democrats, Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, has been selected to be the Democratic Leader in the Wisconsin Senate, according to a statement from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
According to the Associated Press, Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, was expected to have been re-elected as Assembly Minority Leader.
Mike Tate, the chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said although Barca’s re-election was expected, Larson has proved himself to be a strong leader in the Senate and Wisconsin.
Tate expressed his confidence in Larson’s abilities and said he has high hopes.
“There is no doubt that under his leadership, our Senate caucus will fight for progressive values in a way that seeks solutions, not sound bites, and which seeks to represent all Wisconsinites, not just the monied few,” Tate said.
Gov. Scott Walker released a statement congratulating the recently-elected leaders of the Wisconsin Legislature.
“Over the course of the last week, I reached out to Democratic and Republican leaders in the Assembly and Senate in an effort to set the groundwork for the upcoming legislative session,” Walker said in his statement. “I look forward to continuing those efforts by working with all four legislative caucuses to help create jobs in Wisconsin.”
Sen. Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin, said she believes the outcome of these elections will not significantly impact Wisconsin citizens.
According to Lazich, very little has changed, and Wisconsin is still under the same leadership. She said instead, they are turning their focus to the agenda.
The agenda as of now, according to Lazich, is the economy and the lack of jobs.
“Our number one problem is unemployment,” Lazich said. “We need to listen to job creators and fix the problems.”
Their focus is to discover what is obstructing job creation so that legislators can come up with a solution to fix the problem.
Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, said he believes since there is such a large majority of Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate, the agenda is soon to change.
Vos is a strong supporter of Walker’s agenda and their biggest challenge is jobs, Heck said. He also noted Vos has been known in the past to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats.
“Vos seems to be a genial type of person,” Heck said. “He [is] more likely to seek cooperation from Democrats. Vos has a close relationship with [Rep. Mark] Pocan, which is a promising sign.”
Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Graeme Zielinski felt differently about the election and its implications on Wisconsin citizens.
Zielinski expressed his disapproval of Republicans’ sweeping of Wisconsin’s Legislature.
“Republicans are going to represent Wisconsinites,” Zielinski said. “It’s a shame.”
There were 200,000 more votes for Democrats in the Assembly, and therefore the public agrees with the Democratic policies, approaches and views, Zielinski said.
Zielinski viewed the outcome as a result of “unethical gerrymandering done by Wisconsin.”
Zielinski also said because the public picked Democrat views over Republicans, there is a strong rejection for radical Republican views.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.