Kedzie retiring, Nass eyes 11th District seat

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Staff | May 7, 2014

ELKHORN--In a surprising twist just weeks after he announced he was running again for the state Senate's 11th District seat, Republican Sen. Neal Kedzie will retire instead, according to a release he issued Tuesday.

Kedzie, 58, said he will end his 12-year career in the Wisconsin State Senate with the end of the legislative session to spend more time with his family and look into opportunities outside of state government, his release said.

Kedzie was elected to the state senate in 2002, then re-elected in 2006 and 2010. Before that he served three terms in the state Assembly as the 43rd District representative.

He currently serves as chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee and has taken lead on numerous environmental and sportsmen issues over the years.

Kedzie also ran a special committee on mining in 2010 and 2011 while Republican legislators were contemplating easing rules to help a massive iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin. The committee was disbanded, but the rules were loosened in 2013.

"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," Kedzie wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau). "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."

Rep. Steve Nass, a Whitewater Republican, is seriously considering a run. A Nass spokesman said a decision could be announced as soon as Wednesday.

Kedzie has become the seventh state senator—and fourth Republican--to say he won't seek reelection.
Republicans hold an 18-15 majority in the Senate at present.

The 11th District includes much of Walworth County and portions of Rock, Jefferson, Waukesha, Kenosha and Racine counties.


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