Tags: County Report
June 17, 2014 | 04:35 PMMADISON — Rep. Neal Kedzie resigned Monday.
It’s been a whirlwind of changing directions for the Elkhorn Republican the last three months.
Back in April he announced he was running for re-election.
Almost a month after that announcement, Kedzie said he was retiring at the end of his current term in January. Neither announcement was expected.
Now there is speculation that a lobbying job may be the next step.
Monday’s announcement — effective at the end of the day — came just 42 days after he said he’d fill out his term.
A staff member at his office said no more information was available and that Kedzie was unavailable for comment.
In that Monday press release, the 58-year-old Kedzie said he was resigning to pursue a unspecified “new opportunity.”
“A new opportunity has come before me, however in order to pursue it further, I must resign from the Senate at this time rather than finish my full term of office,” Kedzie was quoted as saying.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel quoted sources as saying Kedzie was resigning so he could take a job as president of the Motor Carriers Association. The group’s president is retiring in August. A resignation would be required as public officials aren’t allowed to accept lobbying jobs while still holding office.
The decision means there will be no representation for the 11th senate district until a new legislator is elected in January, though Kedzie said that constituent help would still be available through his office.
Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) and Walworth County Board Supervisor Dan Kilkenny, a Democrat, have announced they’re running to replace Kedzie.
The district includes most of Walworth County and portions of Rock, Jefferson, Waukesha and Kenosha counties.
Kedzie has represented the district since 2002. Prior to that he was in the Assembly, first being elected to that post in 1996.
When he announced his pending resignation he told the Regional News that being a Senator was a 24/7 job and that made it difficult to have a personal life.
Kedzie said plans for his re-election were just under way, when he and his wife “had a heart to heart,” he said.
“We discussed the prospects of another campaign and more months on the road,” Kedzie said. “So the first step was to discontinue the campaign.”
“We’re empty nesters now,” he added. “And have more freedom of movement than we had before.
At the time, Kedzie said he was pursuing other ways to make a living outside of legislating.
Asked about the polarization in legislating these days, Kedzie acknowledged he was old school “when compromise wasn’t a dirty word.”
“I can leave this job and continue to call members on both sides of the aisle friends,” he said.