Change in the air: Peter Barca stepping down as Assembly Minority Leader

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca

MADISON — Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D – Kenosha) released a statement on Thursday evening, September 7th to announce he is stepping down as Minority Leader effective Saturday, September 30th.

In a news release, Barca issued the following statement:

“This afternoon I made the very difficult decision to step down as leader of the Assembly Democrats following deliberate, thoughtful discussions. I am grateful to my colleagues for their support over the last seven years.

“It has been my honor to work as their leader in the fight for family-supporting jobs and an economy that works for everyone. Assembly Democrats have always fought to do what is right for Wisconsin families and workers.

“I will continue this effort but will be able to put much more focus on my district, which will have more challenges than ever in the months ahead.

“We ended our discussion this afternoon with a very constructive strategy session, and we are very focused on the work we must do to improve Gov. Walker’s short-sighted budget. We are well prepared for the work ahead.”

Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Mark Morgan issued this statement about the Barca move:

“Peter Barca took a reasonable vote in favor of good-paying Wisconsin jobs, and his extreme Democrat caucus ousted him for it. Until Wisconsin Democrats offer real ideas and a message that will connect with the lives of hard-working Wisconsin families, they’ll remain in a dangerous race to the left – Wisconsin Democrats are in complete state of disarray and it’s only getting worse.”

Republican state Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) issued the following statement on the Barca move:

“I’m proud to count Peter Barca as a true friend. Peter is a rare breed in Madison, a politician who can disagree and advocate for his position without being disagreeable. He understands how to agree to disagree. It is unfortunate, yet ultimately predictable, that Assembly Democrats are seeking a new leader because he exercised those principles by voting for the Foxconn legislation.

“While Assembly Democrats are losing his voice representing their caucus, I am glad Kenosha and Racine counties get to keep his voice representing them.”