Gov. Scott Walker announced this morning his appointment of state Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Harsdorf will be the first female DATCP secretary.
Harsdorf’s appointment, which begins on Monday, opens up the 10th Senate District seat. Harsdorf has held the seat since 2000 and most recently beat Democrat Diane Odeen 63-37 percent in the 2016 election. Harsdorf also serves on the legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. Reps. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake) and Shannon Zimmerman (R-River Falls) are expected to consider running for the seat, pending Harsdorf’s departure. Gov. Walker will likely schedule a special election on the same day as the special elections for the 58th and 66th Assembly District seats.
Former DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel retired in August, and Deputy Secretary Jeff Lyon is currently serving as DATCP’s interim secretary.