2 freshmen revive Wisconsin Legislature’s socialist caucus

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers acknowledges the Wisconsin National Guard in a joint session of the Legislature in the Assembly chambers during the governor's State of the State speech at the state Capitol Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, in Madison, Wis. Behind Evers is Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler August, left, R-Lake Geneva, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Senate President Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

MADISON, Wis. It’s been 90 years, but socialism is back in the Wisconsin Legislature. 

After taking their oaths of office, two freshman Assembly members made it their first order of business to revive a socialist caucus that has been dormant since the 1930s. 

Socialist politicians sat in the Wisconsin Legislature as early as 1878, according to the Legislative Reference Bureau, but most socialist state lawmakers held office between 1917 and 1935 when the first socialist caucus appeared. 

The victories mirror a national resurgence in democratic socialism’s popularity over the past decade, with longtime stalwarts of the movement like Sen. Bernie Sanders joining U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a younger generation drawn to socialist ideals.