Former Wisconsin Senate minority leader quits Legislature

MADISON — Former state Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling resigned from the Legislature on Friday, hinting that she has an employment opportunity that conflicts with state government work.

Shilling, a Democrat, sent Senate President Roger Roth a letter Friday morning saying she would resign at the end of the day.

Shilling announced in early April she wouldn't seek re-election this fall and stepped down as minority leader later that month. Sen. Janet Bewley replaced her as minority leader.

Shilling said in a statement Friday that she is exploring “career opportunities” and state law requires legislators and other public officials to resign their positions early if a potential opportunity might conflict with state government activities. She didn't elaborate on the job. Her spokeswoman, Kate Constalie, said she didn't know what Shilling plans to do.

Former state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Brad Pfaff and Republican Dan Kapanke are vying for Shilling's seat, which represents a swath of west-central Wisconsin that includes La Crosse and Prairie du Chien.