Legislative Republicans reelect top leaders during closed caucus

By: - November 11, 2022 6:48 am

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos | official website

Assembly and Senate Republicans reelected their top leaders during closed caucus meetings Thursday. 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu both won reelection. The leaders will guide larger caucuses in the coming biennium, after Republicans won an additional Senate seat and three additional Assembly seats during Tuesday’s elections. 

This will be Vos’ sixth term in the role, making him the longest serving speaker in state history. 

“Nobody’s given these seats, and I am incredibly grateful that my caucus, again, trusted me to lead them and the people in Racine county trust me to represent [them],” Vos said.

Vos said the caucus didn’t discuss details of committee appointments or the direction the caucus will take in the coming session at the Thursday meeting, but members will start discussing more in the coming weeks. 

“I’d like to listen to the caucus, see where they are, see what they heard on the campaign trail and that’s what’s able to be accomplished in our own caucus, much less talking with the Senate and then of course talking — if we can ever do that — to the governor,” Vos said. 

Aside from the speakership, much of the Assembly majority leadership will be newly filled as many positions were vacated by members who didn’t seek reelection to the Assembly this term or ran for a different leadership position.

Rep. Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva) will serve as Assembly majority leader. Rep. Kevin Petersen (R-Waupaca) will serve as speaker pro tempore. Rep. Jon Plumer (R-Lodi) will serve as assistant majority leader. Rep. Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer) will serve as majority caucus chair. Rep. Nancy VanderMeer (R-Tomah) will serve as majority caucus secretary and Rep. Treig Pronschinske (R-Mondovi) will serve as majority caucus sergeant at arms. Rep. Cindi Duchow (R-Town of Delafield) was reelected to the position of majority caucus vice chair. 

Senate Republicans, in contrast, maintained much of the status quo with Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R – Oostburg) winning another term as the majority leader. 

“I am honored to be re-elected as the Senate Majority Leader for this 106th Session of the Wisconsin Legislature,” LeMahieu said in a release. “We have come back stronger than before and I intend to ensure our state continues to move forward with a budget and policies that support Wisconsin’s families and businesses.”

Sen. Dan Feyen (R – Fond du Lac) was reelected as the assistant majority leader and Van H. Wanggaard (R – Racine) was reelected as the majority caucus chair. Sen. Joan Ballweg (R – Markesan) was elected majority caucus vice-chair. That position was left open by Sen. Kathleen Bernier (R – Chippewa Falls), who opted not to seek reelection to the Senate this year. 

With Gov. Tony Evers winning reelection and Republicans holding onto strong majorities, the coming session could look similar to the past four years, especially as leaders signal attempts to check Evers’ powers and skepticism about their ability to work with the governor. 

“This caucus will continue to work as an effective check on Tony Evers’ liberal agenda and his attempts to take Wisconsin backwards,” LeMahieu said in a statement. “The people of Wisconsin deserve strong leadership, sound economic policies and a legislature that listens to the concerns of our communities — with the largest Senate Majority since 1969, we plan to deliver just that.”


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Baylor Spears
Baylor Spears

Baylor Spears is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner. She’s previously written for the Minnesota Reformer and Washingtonian Magazine. A Tennessee-native, she graduated with a degree in journalism from Northwestern University in June 2022.