Ringhand will seek Senate seat, Spoden won't

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Gazette staff
Wednesday, October 9, 2013

EVANSVILLE—State Rep. Janis Ringhand, D-Evansville, said Wednesday she will run for the 15th Senate District seat that incumbent Tim Cullen plans to vacate at the end of this term.

Sheriff Robert Spoden said he won't run for the seat.

Ringhand said she resigned her position as secretary for the Assembly Democratic Caucus on Tuesday.

“After learning of Sen. Cullen's retirement last month, I spoke with my family, friends and neighbors about the future of our Senate seat,” Ringhand said in a news release. “The decision for me is clear: now is the time to run.”

Ringhand is a former member of the Evansville City Council and former mayor. She was elected to the state Assembly in 2010 and serves the 45th District.

“While I will continue serving in the state Assembly through the end of my term, it is important to me that our leadership team be comprised of members fully committed to returning our caucus to the majority,” she said.

Ringhand, a lifelong resident of Rock County, lives in Evansville with her husband, Gordy. They have two children and five grandchildren.

Prior to her election to the Assembly, she helped run the family business, Ringhand Meat and Beverage. She is a member of the Janesville Literacy Connection, Stoughton Hospital Board, Evansville Energy Independence, Green County Local Emergency Planning Committee and VFW Auxiliary in Evansville.

Ringhand is the first declared candidate for Cullen's Senate seat.

State Rep. Andy Jorgensen, D-Milton, said Monday he has formed an exploratory committee to consider a bid for the Senate seat.

Via Facebook, Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden, also a Democrat, said Tuesday  he will not be a candidate for the Senate seat.

“I have truly enjoyed being your sheriff,” he posted. “While I respect those of you who have encouraged me to run, I have spent 45 of my 50 years of life involved in some way with the sheriff's office. I love being your sheriff and intend to finish my term and seek another term.”

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