Russ Decker

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Russ Decker
Decker russ.jpg
Wisconsin State Senate District 29
Former member
Term in office began
Term in office ended
Political party Democratic
Profession Union Bricklayer

Russ Decker (b. May 25, 1953) was a Democratic member of the Wisconsin State Senate. He represented District 29 since 1990. He served as Senate Majority Leader from 2007 until December 2010 when he was deposed by fellow Democrats during lame duck session[1].

Decker is a bricklayer.

Decker graduated with a bricklayer apprenticeship from Northcentral Technical College and attended Notre Dame University.[2]

Recent legislation sponsored or co-sponsored by Sen. Decker includes:[3]

  • A resolution in support of the Employee Free Choice Act[4]
  • A bill regarding deer-hunting rules[5]
  • A bill suspending state supplemental unemployment benefits due to available federal funds[6]

Committee assignments

Sen. Decker served on these legislative committees:[7]

  • Senate Organization Committee, Wisconsin Senate, Chair
  • Joint Committee on Legislative Organization
  • Joint Survey Committee on Tax Exemptions
  • Joint Committee on Employment Relations
  • Committee of Conference on Assembly Bill 75, Co-Chair
  • Building Inspector Review Board
  • Joint Legislative Council


Employee contracts

Gov. Jim Doyle's administration negotiated the public employee contracts and it hit a snag in the state legislature in mid-December 2010.

The Wisconsin Senate was deadlocked 16-16 on the series of public employee contracts the chamber considered. Democratic state Sens. Decker and Jeff Plale joined Republican state senators in opposition.

"It wasn't a party-line vote," Decker said.

Decker is a member of the Bricklayers International Union. He voted for the slate of union contracts in a joint legislative committee Wednesday morning. He was stripped of his majority leader title in a closed-door meeting, following the first deadlocked vote.

When the Senate returned to vote by the same count on each of the remaining contracts, state Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, took the role of majority leader.

"I'm extremely surprised," said state Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha. "Never in a million years would you that the majority leader,who's been telling people for two weeks that they (the Senate) had the votes and they were moving forward, would be the one to actually kill (the series of contracts)," Barca said.[8]



See also: Wisconsin State Senate elections, 2010

Decker was defeated for re-election to the Wisconsin State Senate District 29 seat. He was unopposed in the September 14, 2010,primary. He was defeated by Republican Pam Galloway in the general election on November 2, 2010.[9] [10]

Wisconsin Senate, District 29 Democratic Primary (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Russ Decker(D) 7,517 99.77 %


Senator Decker reacting to State of the State address

On November 7, 2006, Russ Decker won re-election to the Wisconsin State Senate, District 29.[11]

Russ Decker raised $109,291 for his campaign, while Jimmy Edming raised $5,351.[12]

Wisconsin State Senate, District 29 (2006)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Russ Decker (D) 42,139
Jimmy Edming (R) 20,101

Campaign donors

Some of the top contributors to Sen. Decker's 2008 campaign, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics:[13]

Abbott Laboratories, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Wisconsin Insurance Alliance, Wisconsin Builders Association, Wisconsin Realtors Association

General business interests were his largest donor group, followed by financial, insurance and real estate interests.

In 2008, Decker collected $60,595 in donations.

Listed below are the top four contributors to his campaign.[14]

Donor Amount
Abbott Laboratories $2,000
Liberty Mutual Insurance $1,500
Wisconsin Insurance Alliance $1,250
Glaxosmithline $1,000

External links

Suggest a link

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Decker is married and has two children.[2]


Political offices
Preceded by
Wisconsin State Senate District 29
Succeeded by
Pam Galloway