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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