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Former Ag Secretary-designee Pfaff Considering Senate Run
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 04/14/2020

Gov. Tony Evers' original pick for state agriculture secretary is thinking about running for the state Senate. Brad Pfaff has told a La Crosse television station that people have been urging him to seek Sen. Jennifer Shilling's open seat this fall and that he may have interest in launching such a campaign.

According to WKBT, Pfaff says he has not made a final decision either way and is still discussing the idea with his family.

Pfaff was tapped by Evers in January 2019 to serve as the top official at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. But on November 5, the Wisconsin State Senate voted along party lines to reject his confirmation after he got into a public feud last summer with Republican lawmakers over funding mental health programs for farmers. He was then hired by the Department of Administration as its new director of business and rural development.

Prior to his time at DATCP, Pfaff had been serving as deputy chief of staff for Congressman Ron Kind. In 2009, he was appointed as the director of the Wisconsin Farm Service Agency under the Obama Administration, and was later promoted as USDA's deputy administrator for farm programs on the national level.

Shilling announced earlier this month that she would not seek re-election in the 32nd Senate district after serving more than 20 years in the legislature. Former GOP Senator Dan Kapanke has already announced his intentions to run for the seat, which he lost to Shilling during a recall election in 2011.


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