October 31, 2014

Cullen returns to his caucus

Senator Tim Cullen (left) announces his return to the Democratic caucus along with Senate Majority Leader Mark Miller just three days after leaving. (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Just three days after Senator Tim Cullen announced his decision to leave the Democratic caucus because he felt snubbed when committee leadership roles were assigned, the Janesville Democrat rejoins his colleagues. “I’m very pleased to be back in the caucus and I feel wanted in the caucus and … that’s a very good feeling.”

Cullen had said on Tuesday that he’d consider becoming an independent after he felt insulted when he didn’t get the committee chairmanships he wanted, but on Friday afternoon Senate Majority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) announced Cullen will chair two newly-created committees and have prominent roles in two others. “Senator Cullen and I are both grown-ups and I’m really pleased to be at this point. It’s time for us to put this behind us and move forward and I look forward to doing that.”

Cullen says he regrets that the “little squabble” dragged out for a few days, but is happy it’s resolved and he’s pleased with his new committee assignments. Miller takes some responsibility for the feud, saying he’s “new at this job” and perhaps “could have dealt with it better.”

Cullen will chair a special committee on mining and a new standing committee on small business and venture capital. He’ll also replace Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) as Vice Chair of the Health Committee and Senator Jim Holperin (D-Conover) as a member of the Transportation Committee. Cullen remains a member of the Senate Education Committee.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:28