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Wisconsin Senate confirms 2 Evers’ Cabinet secretaries (UPDATE)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Senate confirmed two of Gov. Tony Evers’ Cabinet appointees on Tuesday in votes that come just two months after Republicans fired the governor’s agriculture secretary.

The chamber confirmed both Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman and Housing and Economic Development Authority Executive Director Joaquin Altoro in unanimous votes. Frostman served briefly in the Senate in 2018 after winning a special election before being defeated in November for a full term.

They join six other Evers appointees who have been approved for their posts. Usually, Senate confirmation is pro forma but Republicans have used the process against Evers this session.

Rejection of Brad Pfaff as agriculture secretary marked the first time since at least the 1980s, and perhaps ever, that a Cabinet secretary’s confirmation was rejected.

Republicans had expressed displeasure with comments and positions taken by Pfaff on water quality and on the lack of GOP approval for money to combat farmer suicides. Evers was so angered by the rejection of Pfaff he attended the vote in person and lashed out at Republicans with comments including curse words.

Republicans have not publicly criticized Frostman or Altoro.

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