Minority Democrats in the state Assembly have chosen a new leader.
Rep. Gordon Hintz was elected by members Tuesday at the Capitol, with no other candidates seeking the position. Following the vote, the Oshkosh Democrat said it will be an honor to lead the caucus moving forward. He also called for unity, as they work to oppose Republican proposals during what remains of the session.
“We only have 35 members, and unless all 35 of us are on the same page, we will not be an effective voice for Democrats across Wisconsin,” Hintz said.
He urged members to be actively involved in helping the party regain ground in the chamber, after continuously losing seats since the 2010 elections. “It is up to everyone in this room to determine our future,” Hintz argued. “No one is going to hand us anything, and the pendulum of change sometimes needs a push.”
While the state Republican Party criticized Democrats for picking Hintz as their leader, Assembly GOP leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) offered congratulations. “His willingness to lead is commendable and I stand ready to work alongside him to advance those values shared between our caucuses,” Steineke said in a statement.
Hintz will replace outgoing Democratic leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), who plans to step down from his leadership role at the end of the month. Barca faced pressure from the party after siding with Republicans and voting in favor of a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn, which is looking to build a factory near his southeastern Wisconsin District.
Hintz will take over as minority leader on October first.