Wisconsin Senate Republicans will oppose Governor Evers' nomination of Craig Thompson as Transportation Secretary, sources tell News/Talk 1130 WISN.
"They're going to fight this one hard," one source said.
Thompson, the executive director of the Wisconsin Transportation Development Association, has come under fire from Republicans for his lobbying on behalf of increased transportation spending. He played a key role in the group's "Just Fix It" campaign against former Governor Scott Walker's record on road maintenance.
"Rewarding one of the leaders of the full-spectrum campaign to attack Governor Scott Walker’s transportation reforms with a top spot in state government is a generous, taxpayer-funded thank-you to a political ally," State Senator Duey Stroebel said in a statement when Evers nominated Thompson last month.
Now Republicans, who hold a 19-14, are planning to vigorously oppose Thompson's nomination with the aim of blocking his confirmation. Gubernatorial nominees need a majority of the Senate to be confirmed.
"The caucus is pretty united on this," a source told News/Talk 1130 WISN. "There may be one or two holdouts but most Senators are dead-set on opposing a road builder lobbyist being put in charge of deciding how we spend out transportation budget."
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald echoed these concerns last month.
"I have heard serious concerns over the governor-elect appointing a provocative figure to head the Department of Transportation who is a long-time advocate for special interests,” he said in a statement. "Governor-elect Evers would be better served by nominating someone who worked in a less controversial role during previous policy debates."
In his introductory press conference last month, Thompson indicated that "all options are on the table" when it comes to funding Wisconsin's transportation budget, but declined to offer specifics.