Former 12th District State Senator Roger Breske passed away late Monday evening. He was 73 years old.
Breske’s former Senate chief-of-staff, Sue Meinholz, says Breske’s daughter told her Breske died Monday evening of a heart attack.
Breske, of Eland, was a Democratic state senator in the 12th District from 1990 until 2008 when he resigned to take Gov. Jim Doyle’s appointment as the Wisconsin Commissioner of Railroads. He resigned from the position in March 2011.
An email confirming Breske’s death was circulated among legislators and Wisconsin government staff at the capital Tuesday morning. Jim Holperin (D-Conover) replaced Breske as the 12th District senator in 2008. In a statement released by Holperin Tuesday afternoon, the 12th District Senator expressed his gratitude for Breske.
“Roger served his state with passion and distinction for over two decades, after committing his life to public service late in his career,” said Holperin. “His sincerity and zest for helping people get what they wanted from their government made him a great Senator, and his commitment to people’s needs assured that he never lost an election.”
Breske was a former bar owner and a Wisconsin Tavern League president.
“No one could work a crowd like Roger Breske, because no one sincerely liked people as much as Roger did,” continued Holperin. “He set everyone at ease and earned the voter’s trust and good will in return. His legislative accomplishments focused on economic development for the many small towns of his 12th Senate District, and the dozens of bills passed under his authorship assured that the north had good roads, thriving main streets, successful farm operations, world class recreation trail systems, attractive tourism destinations and working people who were treated fairly by state law.”
“Everyone who met Roger Breske had a friend in him,” concluded Holperin. “Wisconsin has lost a great Senator, a committed public servant, and a dedicated husband, father, grandfather and community leader. I was privileged to have known Roger, and I will miss him.”