Wisconsin Senate Democrats choose Hesselbein as new minority leader

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democrats in the Wisconsin state Senate have a new leader.

The caucus elected Dianne Hesselbein of Middleton on Friday to replace Melissa Agard as minority leader, the caucus’ assistant leader, Jeff Smith, said in a news release.

The move came a day after Agard announced that she will run for Dane County executive next year. State law bars her from holding a Senate office and county executive office simultaneously for more than two months.

The jockeying comes as the state Supreme Court’s liberal majority appears poised to invalidate Republican-drawn legislative district boundaries, perhaps by the end of the year.

The boundaries have helped the GOP maintain control of both the Senate and Assembly since 2012. Republicans currently hold a 22-11 majority in the Senate and a 64-35 majority in the Assembly. New maps could help Democrats gain seats in both chambers.


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