Evers promotes deputy after Senate fires agriculture leader

Tony Evers, governor of Wisconsin elected in November 2018 (MGN / Cropped Photo: Tony Evers / CC BY-SA 2.0)
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Tony Evers has promoted the deputy agriculture secretary after the Wisconsin Senate fired the head of the agency earlier this week.

Evers' spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff on Thursday said that Randy Romanski will take over as interim secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Romanski has worked for a variety of positions in state government for decades, including eight years as the safety program chief for the State Patrol immediately prior to being picked as the agriculture department secretary.

Romanski replaces Brad Pfaff. The Republican-controlled Senate rejected Pfaff's confirmation on Tuesday, resulting in him losing his job.

Evers ripped into Republicans following the vote, calling it "BS." Republicans say they were upset with Pfaff for pushing more restricting agriculture siting rules and criticizing the GOP for not releasing money for farmer suicide prevention efforts faster.