Barca to Step Down as Revenue Dept. Secretary

Mar. 28, 2024 9:45p; Updated 3-29

(WGTD)----Former Kenosha State Rep. Peter Barca is leaving the Gov. Tony Evers administration where he has served as Revenue Dept. Secretary ever since Evers was first elected. Multiple media reports indicate that Barca may challenge 1st District Republican Congressman Bryan Steil this fall. 

Barca isn't commenting on his future plans, saying only that his departure from state government is not akin to a retirement.

In a statement, Evers had praise for the 68-year-old Barca. “Peter has been with our administration since day one, and I knew from the beginning that he would be a dedicated, enthusiastic, and effective leader for the Department of Revenue,” Evers said in a statement Thursday night. “We’ve accomplished much together over the past five years on behalf of the people of Wisconsin, including ensuring Wisconsin taxpayers will see $1.5 billion in tax relief annually through income tax cuts I’ve signed into law. I thank Peter for service and wish him and his family all the best.”

“I have been honored to be a member of the Evers Administration in such a key time for the state,” said Barca. “The leadership and staff at DOR are dedicated, effective, and highly engaged. In addition to the tax relief, historic changes in shared revenue, our team administered most of the large grant programs and were pleased to be part of the Evers team that was number one in the nation in distributing federal funds to help businesses, farms, and organizations. It was especially positive to end this legislative session with important public safety measures like new vapor controls and using the tax system to facilitate organ donations.”

In addition to his service as DOR secretary for the past five years, Barca served as a state legislator from 1985 to 1993 and from 2009 to 2019. He served for seven years as the assembly minority leader.  He also was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served in U.S. Congress from 1993 to 1995.

Following his time in congress, Barca served for nearly five years as the Midwest Regional Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration during the Clinton Administration. He also was appointed to lead the National Regulatory Fairness Program, an initiative aimed at making regulatory enforcement more small business friendly.

Barca later spent nearly a decade as vice president and then president of Aurora Associates International, an international project management company that conducted international development projects in more than 25 countries. He had previously served as CEO of a non-profit organization focused on employment and training, housing, and rehabilitation services.

Steil was first elected to congress in 2018. He replaced Paul Ryan who stepped down. The Janesville Republican has since been re-elected twice, defeating Democrats who weren't well-funded.