MADISON — Two Republican state lawmakers are resigning to take posts in the administration of Gov. Scott Walker.
Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, and Rep. Keith Ripp, R-Lodi, made the announcements Friday.
Lasee is becoming Division Administrator for Worker’s Compensation in the Department of Workforce Development, according to a release from his office.
Ripp will be Assistant Deputy Secretary, the third-ranking post, for the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, or DATCP, according to a release from the department. He’ll serve under Secretary Sheila Harsdorf, who recently left the state Senate to take that job.
Both lawmakers said their resignations would be effective at the end of the day Friday. Ripp will start at DATCP on Jan. 1.
Tom Evenson, a Walker spokesman, said the governor won’t call special elections for the seats, meaning they’ll be filled after the November 2018 election.
Ripp represents a rural district north of Madison that includes Fox Lake, Lodi, Poynette and Randolph. In office since 2009, Ripp is chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee.
Lasee, who has served since 2011, represents the far northeast corner of the state, including Door and Kewaunee counties, Two Rivers and parts of the Green Bay and Appleton areas. He is chairman of the Senate Insurance, Housing and Trade committee.
Democrats may view the open seats as pickup opportunities in 2018.
“Democrats are ready to fight to take back seats in every corner of the state, including Senate District 1, whether Gov. Walker decides to call a special election or to leave thousands of voters without representation for months,” said Jenni Dye, who directs the campaign arm of state Senate Democrats.
But neither district would be an easy gets for Democrats. Both voted solidly for GOP President Donald Trump in 2016: Assembly District 42 by a 54-percent-to-40-percent margin, and Senate District 1, 56 percent to 38 percent.