Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 9.28.25 AMMadison – Sending a message aimed at making it clear she is not going to Madison to play politricks, newly elected GOP Wisconsin legislator, state Rep. Jessie Rodriguez, says she does not “need to be a part” of the Black and Latino Caucus.

Rodriguez was sworn in to represent the 21st Assembly District last month as the Legislature’s second Latina lawmaker and first GOP elected official, after defeating her Democratic challenger in a special election for the seat vacated by former Republican Rep. Mark Honadel.

After news reports began circulating that Black and Latino Caucus Democrat chairman Rep. Mandela Barnes, suggested that an internal caucus discussion to invite Rodriquez to be part of the caucus was in order, Barnes received notice from Rodriquez pretty much telling him–don’t bother.

Rodriguez put put out a news release saying, “As an immigrant, I’m proud of my Salvadorian heritage. I’m also proud of the work I’ve done with low-income Hispanic parents across the state helping them invest in the future of their children.”

“And so with due deference to Representative Mandela Barnes and his group, I don’t need to be a part of a minority caucus to understand communities of color or find ways to empower them,” Rodriquez said.

“I’ve worked long enough in struggling communities to understand that no self-appointed group or organization, whether white, black, or Latino, owns the right to represent any one segment of our society,” she continued.

“The voters of the 21st Assembly District sent me to Madison, not to be bogged down by identity politics, but to work with my colleagues and Governor Walker to continue making Wisconsin a great place for everyone.”