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Miller Stepping Down as WI State Senate Leader

Not unsurprising news, his chief of staff bailed to work for Milwaukee Co. government months ago.  The writing was on the wall for weeks that something was going to change depending on last night.

Mark Miller has decided to step down from his post as Senate Democratic leader.

Miller’s office issued a statement Wednesday saying he plans to quit his post when the current legislative session ends in December.

The Monona Democrat ran unopposed in Tuesday’s elections. The statement doesn’t say why he chose to quit his leadership position and his spokeswoman didn’t immediately return telephone messages.

Question now is who takes over.  The logical guess would be elevating Dave Hansen, the Assistant Leader, to leader, but considering he didn’t want the job after the 2010 elections (He briefly was “Leader” when they broke for caucus after former Wausau state Senator Russ Decker became the deciding vote against public employee contracts in the lame duck session, removing him as leader.), you wonder if he prefers to be #2 in the caucus more for political reasons.

It is a lot easier to knock out a guy in a swing district if he’s also the face of the opposition, and no doubt Hansen knows that.

Erpenbach is another likely option, since he’s practically been the media face for the caucus since “The Fleeing.”  Frankly, the options among the 14 other members of the caucus not named Mark Miller are slim pickings.  They’re more bomb throwers than leaders, unless someone decides to finally get serious among the lot.

 

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