Barca, Shankland to lead Assembly Democrats
Written by Larry Lee, WSAU Radio
 
MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- Democratic members of the Wisconsin State Assembly selected their new leaders Tuesday.
 
64th District Representative Peter Barca from the Kenosha area is the new Assembly Minority Leader, and 71st District Representative Katrina Shankland from Stevens Point is the Assistant Minority Leader.
 
Barca vowed to lead his Democratic caucus back to the majority in the chamber. During the leadership meeting Tuesday, Barca was clearly not pleased with the results of the election and certain special interest dollars supporting Republicans.  “They came in. Mandy Wright, Steven Smith, Amy Sue (Vruwink) (with) over $150,000 dollars in I-E (independent expenditure) money from the American Federation of Children. Not once, not once did they bring up that Mandy was against vouchers. Instead, they ran the most negative, untruthful, bald-faced lies against our people and propped up the Republican candidates.”
 
Barca was referring to last week’s defeats of Democratic Representatives Mandy Wright of Wausau and Amy Sue Vruwink of Milladore.
 
The lone central Wisconsin Democratic Representative to the Assembly that remains in office is Shankland. She tweeted Tuesday night, “The only way forward is together. I'm thrilled, humbled, and motivated to help my team as the Assembly Democrats' Assistant Minority Leader!” In a statement issued earlier in the day, Shankland said, “I’m deeply honored to have the trust of both my constituents and my colleagues. Assembly Democrats are strong in their diversity and ideas, and I’m excited to work alongside them. In the coming session, Assembly Democrats will champion issues important to Wisconsin’s working families.”
 
Barca is a seasoned veteran of the Legislature who returned to the Assembly in 2009 after previously serving from 1985 until 1993. Shankland has taken a leadership role as she completes her first term in office.