MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Senate’s most moderate Republican says he will not become a Democrat.
State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate extended the invitation Monday to 30-year legislative veteran Dale Schultz of Richland Center.
Assembly Republican Howard Marklein of Spring Green announced on Sunday that he would challenge Schultz in the GOP primary next year.
Schultz told reporters Monday he wouldn’t decide until this fall whether he’ll run again. He said a “level of intolerance for an independent voice” has developed in recent years. And Schultz said there’s a Tea Party standard in which you have vote 100 percent their way or, “you’re not fit – it’s a sign of the times.”
Schultz said he voted with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald 98.7 percent of the time. But Schultz steered away from Republicans on some of the biggest issues of the past two sessions.
He voted twice against mining incentive legislation, and he voted no to Act 10, the virtual ending of collective bargaining for most public unions in Wisconsin.
Tate said Democrats would target Schultz’s Senate seat next year. They said Marklein could win the Republican primary, and then a Democrat would defeat him in November.
Marklein told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel it’s possible, but he believes he can overcome that.