Gov. Tony Evers announced at a DATCP Board meeting today that he’s elevating Randy Romanski to interim secretary after the state Senate this week rejected his nomination of Brad Pfaff to lead the agency.

Speaking with reporters after making the announcement at a DATCP board meeting this morning, Evers praised the new interim secretary as someone who “knows the agency and knows the issues.”

“His experience in the department is long and he knows the issues,” he said.

But the guv knocked Senate Republicans, saying there was “no reason for them not to” approve his original nominee.

“They took the immoral approach and decided that politics are going to trump competence and passion,” he said.

Still, the guv said he has “comfort” with Romanski serving in an interim role and pledged to “take the time we need to find the best person possible.” But Pfaff will not be a part of that process after Evers said this morning that his first nominee will not transition into the deputy role or stay with DATCP.

Romanski previously served as the agency’s deputy secretary and then secretary under then-Gov. Jim Doyle. He then worked for the Department of Transportation in the Division of State Patrol before Evers tapped him to serve as the agency’s deputy secretary under Pfaff.

The guv’s office said Romanski won’t be subject to Senate confirmation in the interim role.

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