Dem. Sen. Chris Larson is the new leader of the Wisconsin state legislature’s Senate Minority.
It’s a tough time to be handed that spot. However if anybody can take on the role of steering the WI Dems forward, it’s Chris Larson.
Here’s why I feel hopeful:
* I think Chris stays on an even keel and remains unafraid. I got this sense from talking to him for a while about how he was handling death threats. This was in 2011 after several news stories had come out about the matter. His reply was very matter-of-fact – - that all of the legislators had been getting death threats for weeks. I remember him saying that people fly off the handle and probably regret the things they say later when they realize that it’s recorded in some email for eternity.
* Chris really GETS twitter, facebook, and blogs AND ALSO the old technologies of wearing down your shoe leather doing door to door with clipboards. Chris completely understands what these tools have meant to the grassroots because he was the one senator of the DEM14 that used twitter during that brief time in Illinois. I learned this when he was on the panel for “Organizing the Occupation” on May 15, 2011.
* Chris is relatively young as far as state senators go (32 years of age), AND he’s smart as a whip, AND he isn’t smarmy, AND he is from the most populous city in my state, AND he has I-would-walk-through-glass-for-you constituents following his lead. What a combo.
If Chris Larson’s fortunes are rising, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s fortunes will rise as well. I have a good feeling on this. Hang in there, Wisconsin.
Here’s an interview of Chris from WTMJ:
Text below is from MSNBC
MADISON- Sen. Chris Larson of Milwaukee has been elected as Democratic leader in the state Senate.Larson was chosen Tuesday during a closed-door meeting of Democrats who are in the minority in the Senate heading into the 2013 session. Larson was challenged by state Sen. Jon Erpenbach for the leadership post.Erpenbach is a 14-year veteran of the Senate who previously served as minority leader a decade ago. The 32-year-old Larson was just elected in 2010 and has emerged as one of Gov. Scott Walker’s sharpest critics.Larson tells Newsradio 620 WTMJ’s “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure” he wants to work with, not against, Senate Republicans.”The electorate is looking for new ideas and looking for us to move forward together to find solutions,” says Larson. “My hope is that they (Senate Republicans) will listen to people from the other side of the aisle and that we can cast off our partisan labels and just embrace the fact that we are all Wisconsinites.”Larson says he intends to be a voice for the middle class.”The fact is the Republicans have the votes to do whatever they want, the districts were drawn in a way that they were able to take back the majority despite the state turning blue.”Republicans hold an 18-15 majority in the Senate. The Republican leader is Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau.