Senator Sheila Harsdorf Appointed New DATCP Secretary

State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) has been appointed to be the new Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection (DATCP) by Gov. Scott Walker. This will create an open state Senate seat in her Northwestern Wisconsin district that will require a special election, possibly in January.


Gov. Scott Walker today appointed GOP state Sen. Sheila Harsdorf the first female DATCP secretary, calling the longtime lawmaker “an excellent fit to lead the agency.”

Harsdorf, who won her Senate seat in 2000 and served in the Assembly from 1989-1999, fills the vacancy left when Ben Brancel retired in August. She will start Monday in a job once held by her brother, Jim.

Harsdorf is expected to resign her Senate seat to take the job, and it’s believed the guv would try to schedule a special election to fill the vacancy for the same day as ones already planned for two open Assembly seats. Nomination papers in those races are due Nov. 21 with a primary Dec. 19 and the general election Jan. 16.

GOP state Reps. Shannon Zimmerman, of River Falls, and Adam Jarchow, of Balsam Lake, are expected to look at a run for the seat.

The 10th Senate District includes the following school districts:

Amery, Baldwin-Woodville Area, Boyceville Community, Clayton, Clear Lake, Ellsworth Community, Elmwood, Frederic, Glenwood City, Grantsburg, Hudson, Luck, Menomonie Area, New Richmond, Osceola, River Falls, Saint Croix Central, Saint Croix Falls, Siren, Somerset, Spring Valley, Turtle Lake, Unity, Webster