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Republican lawmaker announces retirement



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Kedzie (click for larger version)
May 06, 2014 | 04:05 PM
MADISON — State Sen. Neal Kedzie is retiring.

Kedzie, a Republican from Elkhorn, has been in the state Senate since 1997.

His retirement was announced in a letter issued to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, according to a press release that came out Tuesday.

The press release said he is retiring “to spend more time with his family and pursue other opportunities outside of state government.”

He had announced April 17 that he was seeking re-election.

Kedzie’s office confirmed that the retirement will occur when his term ends at the end of the year. Asked for a comment from Kedzie, his office replied that “he’s not taking press at the moment.”

The 11th Senate district covers Walworth County with the exception of East Troy, Richmond and Whitewater as well as portions of Waukesha and Jefferson counties.

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Kedzie, 58, was first elected to the Assembly in 1996 and the Senate in 2002.

A few hours after the announcement about Kedzie’s retirement, a spokesman for Rep. Steve Nass, of Whitewater, said Nass is seriously considering a run. He will announce his decision as soon as Wednesday, the spokesman said.

Excerpts from Kedzie’s letter:

“Since 1997, I have had the honor and privilege of serving the people of Wisconsin in the Wisconsin State Legislature. It has been a wonderful experience to garner the trust, support, and friendship from the people of the former 43rd Assembly District and 11th Senate District these last 17 years.

“My time in the Senate from 2003 to present day has allowed me to be a part of the most notable days in Wisconsin state history. I have a deep appreciation for the institution of the Senate and the Legislature as a whole, and trust our work has made a positive impact in peoples’ lives, for today and tomorrow.

“I will not only miss and hold dear the Wisconsin Legislature, I will miss the men and women who served both by my side and across the aisle. While we may have differing ideas and vision for this great state, I know each member of the Legislature, Republicans and Democrats, wishes only the best for Wisconsin, and to leave it in a better place than when they first arrived. I value the friendships I have made over the years with members of both parties and have a sincere respect and admiration for each one of them.

“During my tenure, I have been fortunate to work with so many talented and insightful individuals to achieve many great legislative accomplishments. I appreciate the knowledge and wisdom gained from those individuals, and am confident Wisconsin’s best days lay ahead, with the Senate in good hands, with good people.”

Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) released the following statement after Kedzie’s announcement.

“Senator Kedzie has served his constituents for many years with dedication and honor. In addition, he has been a wonderful ally and mentor to me personally,” Loudenbeck said. “I wish Senator Kedzie all of the best in his retirement and thank him for his service to our great state.”

Kedzie joins seven other lawmakers in announcing his retirement: Sens. Dale Schultz, (R) Richland Center; Mike Ellis, (R) Neenah; Joe Leibham, (R) Sheboygan; Tim Cullen, (D) Janesville; Bob Jauch, (D) Poplar; and John Lehman (D) Racine.

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