UW-Green Bay professor emeritus shares thoughts on GOP State Senate supermajority | NBC26
GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Republican Rep. Dan Knodl defeated Democratic attorney Jodi Habush Sinykin for the open Wisconsin Senate seat in District 8, which was vacated when Republican Alberta Darling retired in November.
Knodl edged Habush by a 51% to 49% vote.
The District 8 seat represents Milwaukee’s northern suburbs.
Knodl’s win gives Republicans a supermajority in the State Senate.
“That happens in part because of the way legislative district lines are drawn, which gives Republicans an inherent advantage,” UW-Green Bay Professor Emeritus of Political Science Michael Kraft said.
Twenty-two of the seats in the State Senate are now filled by Republicans. There are 33 seats total.
Knodl’s victory means conservatives hold two-thirds of the vote in the Upper Chamber, creating a supermajority.
According to the State Constitution, the Assembly can impeach an elected leader with a majority vote.
What happens next is up the State Senate, which can remove a state official from office with a two-thirds vote. This includes the governor, the attorney general, and judges.
“I think what we need to remember is that impeachment is for extraordinary circumstances that cannot wait until the next election,” Kraft said.
Knodl has said he doesn’t want to impeach Gov. Tony Evers, saying he’s been able to work with him.
Kraft says impeachment should not be a tool if politicians simply don’t see eye-to-eye on issues.
“If you start impeaching officials, what’s to say the next party doesn’t do the same thing, and then you get retribution?,” Kraft said. “And frankly, we’ve had way too much of that…That’s not an ideal way for democracy to work.”
NBC 26 contacted Knodl’s office for comment, but we did not hear back.