Key GOP Lawmaker Retires in Middle of Term, Departure Sets Up Huge Battle in Legislature

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The departure of a longtime GOP incumbent in Wisconsin’s state Senate has sparked what is sure to be a contentious battle come next year.

State Sen. Alberta Darling’s retirement in the middle of her four-year term will leave Republicans one vote shy of a supermajority in the Senate chamber, taking away the party’s override powers against Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

According to WITI, Darling announced her intentions to retire from her 8th Senate district seat in late November, effective Dec. 1.

Her leaving has been lamented by both Democrats and Republicans alike.

“I was a little bit shocked, but I was extremely saddened. Sen. Darling has been a team-player when it comes to wanting to do things to help Milwaukee and particularly my district,” Democratic state Sen. LaTonya Johnson of Milwaukee said.

Former GOP Gov. Tommy Thompson commended the veteran lawmaker for her role in helping to establish Wisconsin’s school voucher program.

“Wisconsin was the first state to have school choice, and now some 30 other states have copied Wisconsin’s lead. And who was at the forefront of school choice? Alberta Darling,” Thompson said.

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