Wisconsin Senate Fires Agriculture Secretary

Senate Voted 19-14 to Reject Pfaff's Confirmation

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Senate has voted to fire the state agriculture secretary, who was appointed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

Evers watched the vote Tuesday from the floor of the Senate, a highly unusual appearance by the governor during legislative debate.

The move to oust Brad Pfaff is the latest skirmish in a series of battles between the Republican-controlled Legislature and Evers, who took office in January.

Evers released a statement Tuesday afternoon on his Facebook page saying:

Brad Pfaff is an extraordinary person and public servant who has dedicated his life to serving and advocating for our farmers, their families, and our rural communities. Brad once even went as far to say that being the secretary of DATCP was his dream job, and by golly, it showed. He brought relentless passion and joy to this work, and it was contagious to our cabinet and the people he fought each day to help. Brad has had and will continue to have my full support. I was honored to be able to appoint Brad, and it has been my honor to have the opportunity to serve alongside him these past eleven months.

And that’s why Republicans’ actions today were nothing short of callous and cruel—Republicans voted to reject a good man who has a good heart and who wakes up every day ready to serve. It was apparently more important for Republicans to serve up political retribution because Brad had the courage and the audacity to scold them for playing politics with farmers mental health during this dairy crisis. Frankly, it would have been a disservice to this state if I’d appointed a secretary who didn’t fight like hell for our farmers, regardless of the consequences.

This is the same political B.S. people are sick and tired of, and to say it’s a dark day for Wisconsin is simply an understatement.

The Senate voted 19-14 to reject Pfaff’s confirmation. All 19 Republicans voted to fire Pfaff, while all 14 Democrats in voting to keep him on the job.

The Senate hasn’t voted to reject a governor’s Cabinet appointee since at least 1987, the farthest back the Legislative Reference Bureau has records. No one has cited any examples prior to that.

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