Randy Romanski is returning to a job he held under former Gov. Jim Doyle — leading the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).
On Friday, Gov. Tony Evers officially chose Romanski, who has been heading the department in an interim role since last November when Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate voted against confirming Brad Pfaff, Evers’ previous DATCP secretary-designee, in a tense standoff as the governor watched from the chamber floor.
Romanski’s appointment is also subject to state Senate confirmation, although when the body will next meet is unclear. While the 2020 session is officially adjourned until next January, there have been requests for a second meeting to deal with COVID-19 repercussions. Romanski can continue to serve as the secretary-designee unless his appointment is voted down by the Senate.
Pfaff is now running for state Senate in the seat previously held by former Sen. Jennifer Shilling against another veteran of the Legislature, former state Sen. Dan Kapanke, whom Shilling beat in the last election.
Romanski served as deputy secretary under Pfaff before becoming interim secretary. Prior to joining the Evers administration, he worked in the Department of Transportation Division of the State Patrol and as a policy analyst at the Department of Justice. Romanski hails from Wisconsin Rapids.
“Wisconsin’s agricultural community has dealt with challenges for years, from low prices to trade wars to a global pandemic. Randy has done an outstanding job leading DATCP through these challenging times, and I believe he’ll continue to do great work as secretary,” commented Evers in a release.
“I appreciate Governor Evers’ confidence and trust in me,” added Romanski. “I look forward to continuing that work as we serve as a resource to Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture and consumer communities.”