MADISON, Wis. — The chief of staff to the top-ranking Democrat in the state Assembly will be taking over leadership of a liberal advocacy group that has spent millions on campaign advertisements in recent years.

Rich Judge is replacing Michelle McGrorty as head of the Greater Wisconsin Committee starting Aug. 1. McGrorty headed the organization for eight years.

Judge currently works as chief of staff to Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca. He previously worked as deputy chief of staff for former Gov. Jim Doyle.

McGrorty is leaving to work on recruiting women to run for office in an 18-state region for Emily's List, a Washington-based political group that helps elect Democratic women who support abortion rights.

The Greater Wisconsin Committee has spent more than $19 million on elections in Wisconsin since 2006.