Senate Democrats Could Lose Majority Before November Elections
Despite the Legislature not being in session until January, Democrats hold the majority in the state Senate. Now, that might change without a single ballot being cast in an election.
Just a couple of weeks after securing the majority in the state Senate, Democrats could lose it even before the November elections.
Sen. Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) announced Tuesday he will leave the Democratic caucus and may become an Independent, according to a story from The Wisconsin State Journal.
After Sen. John Lehman (D-Racine) unseated Republican Van Wanggaard in a recall election in the 21st Senate District, Democrats gained the majority in the Senate with a 17-16 sway.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Miller announced committee appointments just hours after Lehman was sworn in on July 16. A Twitter post from Wisconsin Report says that Cullen wasn't happy with Miller for not offering Cullen a chair position on any committees.
"Sen. Tim Cullen leaves Democratic caucus, citing a riff with Sen. Majority Leader Mark Miller, who did not offer Cullen a committee chair," the post reads.
Associated Press reporter Scott Bauer also posted on Twitter, saying that Republican Sen. Rich Zipperer (Pewaukee) is stepping down so even with Cullen's party change, the Democrats still have a majority.
"GOP Sen. Rich Zipperer is leaving Senate next month, so even if Dem Sen. Tim Cullen becomes independent, Dems would have 16-15-1 majority," Bauer posted.
Cullen was one of 14 Democratic senators who left the state last year to try and prevent a vote on what would become Act 10, the budget repair bill.
Brad Wojciechowski of the State Senate Democrats said the committee does not have a comment at this time.