- Associated Press - Friday, November 1, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Latest on confirmation vote for agriculture secretary (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers says it’s “astonishing” that Republicans want to fire his agriculture secretary.

Ever appointed Brad Pfaff to lead the agency in January, but the Senate has not voted to confirm him. Pfaff angered lawmakers when he criticized the Legislature’s Republican-controlled budget committee for not releasing $200,000 to help with farmer mental health programs.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald’s spokesman Alec Zimmerman says there aren’t enough votes in the Senate to confirm him. He says Fitzgerald asked Evers to withdraw the nomination.



Evers didn’t say in a statement whether he would do that. Instead, he says removing Pfaff would “create even more uncertainty and instability” for farmers and rural communities.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on Pfaff on Tuesday.

___

3:04 p.m.

The Republican leader of the Wisconsin Senate is asking Gov. Tony Evers to withdraw his pick to lead the state agriculture department, saying there isn’t enough support to confirm him.

Evers selected Brad Pfaff to lead the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in January. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald’s spokesman Alec Zimmerman said in an email Friday that Pfaff does not have the votes to be confirmed. He says Fitzgerald asked Evers earlier Friday to withdraw his nomination of Pfaff before Tuesday’s Senate session.

Evers’ spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Pfaff has clashed with Republicans, but a Senate committee unanimously recommended he be confirmed.

The Senate has confirmed just five of Evers’ Cabinet secretaries. Pfaff and the others can serve unless the Senate votes to reject confirmation.

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