After meeting for several hours on Wednesday, Democrats emerged from a closed caucus with Senator Russ Decker (D-Weston) as their new Majority Leader. He'll replace Senator Judy Robson (D-Beloit), who had served as in the position since the beginning of the current legislative session.
Decker says he's pleased with the support and confidence of fellow Democrats. He hopes to use the position to push the agenda ahead for working families by improving health care and education.
Democrats held a caucus Tuesday night on the leadership issue after passing the state budget, but a vote was not taken before today's meeting. Decker says the decision to push for new leadership had nothing to do with Robson's performance on budget negotiations, which some lawmakers felt the Senate was shut out of towards the end. The Weston Democrat says it wasn't personal; it's just that some members felt a stronger message was needed.
Senator Robson's spokesman, Josh Wescott, says the call to replace her was a surprise. Wescott says the Senator was disappointed by the decision to replace her.
The vote was taken by secret ballot and the results were not made public.