State News

Democratic state Rep. Peter Barca steps down as Assembly minority leader

State Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, will step down as minority leader effective Sept. 30.

Image By: Thomas Yonash

State Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, announced Thursday he is stepping down from his post as the Assembly’s top Democrat.

Barca thanked his fellow caucus members for their support, saying it was his “honor to work as their leader in the fight for family-supporting jobs and an economy that works for everyone.”

“This afternoon I made the very difficult decision to step down as leader of the Assembly Democrats following deliberate, thoughtful discussions,” Barca said in a statement. “I am grateful to my colleagues for their support over the last seven years.”

Barca’s resignation will take effect Sept. 30. A Democratic aide told The Daily Cardinal that Barca has not chosen a successor and that a “standard election” will take place to find his replacement.

Joint Finance Committee member state Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, announced his bid for the leadership position Friday.

"As leader, I will work every day to contrast ... core Democratic values with a Republican Party that has never been more unpopular than it is now," Hintz said in a statement. 

Barca said that even with his resignation Democrats are “well-prepared” to do the work necessary to improve Gov. Scott Walker’s biennial budget, which he called “short-sighted.”

He said he will continue to fight for the values of the Democratic Party, but will do so from a non-leadership role.

“I will continue this effort but will be able to put much more focus on my district, which will have more challenges than ever in the months ahead,” Barca said.

Barca has served as a state Representative for two separate stints, from 1985-1993 and from 2009-present. He was a member of the U.S. Congress for one term between 1993 and 1995, representing Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District.

Mark Morgan, the executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, accused Assembly Democrats of "oust[ing]" Barca over his vote in support of an incentives bill for the technology company Foxconn.

“Peter Barca took a reasonable vote in favor of good-paying Wisconsin jobs, and his extreme Democrat caucus ousted him for it," Morgan said in a statement. "Until Wisconsin Democrats offer real ideas and a message that will connect with the lives of hard-working Wisconsin families, they’ll remain in a dangerous race to the left – Wisconsin Democrats are in a complete state of disarray and it’s only getting worse.”

Lilly Price contributed to this report. 

UPDATE Sept. 7, 6:24 p.m.: This article was updated to include additional information.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Cardinal.