With the former Assembly majority leader heading to Gov. Scott Walker’s administration, Waukesha Republican Rep. Bill Kramer’s added legislative experience gained him the position as the new majority leader.
On Sept. 4, Kramer defeated Rep. Dean Knudson, R-Hudson, in a special election held the day of Scott Suder’s resignation by a private vote.
“Today Assembly Republicans elected a smart, tough and experienced leader in Rep. Kramer,” Knudson said in a Sept. 4 statement. “Our caucus knows he is battle-tested and he has our confidence. Bill is more than capable of success in his new role and the Assembly and our state should benefit greatly from his stewardship.”
Knudson’s office said they would not comment further on the election.
Kramer, who was elected to the Assembly in 2006, said his added experience spoke to the Assembly Republicans during the election. Knudson was elected to the Assembly in 2010.
“The one thing they saw is I’ve been there two extra terms and as Speaker Pro Tem, you do a lot of work with the Majority Leader,” Kramer said. “It’s a lot easier for me to work since I worked with Suder for the last two-and-a-half years.”
Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said in a statement that Kramer’s experience level will help him succeed in his new position.
In his new position, Kramer hopes to continue on expanding the work of Assembly Republicans and increase the Republican majority, Kramer said.
“Move the state forward, work together and make Wisconsin a great place to work, raise a family, play and retire,” Kramer said.
Kramer said he will be responsible for knowing what bills are in committees, which committees are working or not and ensuring priority bills go to the floor.
Suder has not given any specific job advice yet, Kramer said. However, he said he has been in contact with Vos and former Majority Leader Steve Foti.
Kramer added that his work as Speaker Pro Tem will help Rep. Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, in his new position taking over for Kramer.
In his previous position, Kramer was responsible for administering the inauguration of new Assembly members, credentialing the media and conducting the Assembly floor, which August will now take over.
August released a statement after his election, where he said his top priority is to maintain efficiency and fairness in the Assembly.
In times of Kramer’s absence, August filled in as Speaker Pro Tem on many occasions.
Calls to the office of Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, were not returned.