Larson Elected Leader of Senate Democrats
State Sen. Chris Larson is now the minority leader of the Wisconsin state Senate.
State Sen. Chris Larson was elected Senate minority leader Tuesday, as legislators convened for the first time since the November elections.
Larson, whose district includes Oak Creek, succeeds Mark Miller of Monona.
"I am humbled by the confidence my fellow senators have in me by electing me their leader," Larson said in a statement. "Wisconsin voters spoke loud and clear on November 6. They want Democratic and Republican lawmakers to move the state forward with programs and policies that reflect our shared values. For the sake of Wisconsin’s future, I encourage members of the Legislature to work together as Wisconsinites by casting off our partisan labels and setting aside any politically divisive agendas."
Larson said he looks forward to tackling the state's challenges — among them, creating jobs, supporting public schools and making sure taxpayer dollars are wisely invested.
He also expressed his desire for the state to implement "comprehensive, functional" health care exchanges in compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
"With the support and confidence of my Democratic colleagues, I look forward to tackling these difficult but important issues with the governor and Republican legislators," he said. "However, such efforts will only succeed if as fellow badgers we dig deep and work together to create a brighter future for our family, friends, and neighbors."
According to a Wisconsin State Journal reporter, Republicans were happy to hear the news: new Assembly Speaker, Republican Robin Vos, said after announcing Larson's election, "Sometimes God gives you a gift."
Larson is an outspoken Democrat whose views oftentimes are at odds with conserative-leaning Oak Creek. He especially drew fire last February when he and other Senate Democrats left the state during deliberations over Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair bill.
Larson was later a vocal supporter of the effort to recall Walker.
The 32-year-old was first elected to the Senate in 2010 after defeating incumbent Democrat Jeff Plale in the primary.