Benedict won’t seek re-election
Lonna Morouney, spokeswoman for the Republican Party of Rock County, said Beloit Republicans Jim Reseburg and Jeffrey Klett announced in December and January their candidacies for Benedict’s seat.
She said Benedict’s announcement would change the race.
“I think the GOP has a real opportunity to take that seat and make it Republican again,” Morouney said.
She said the Republicans have a shot no matter who runs because of the state’s economic crisis, particularly in Rock County. She said the GOP’s message would be lower taxes, smaller government and an improved business climate.
“I think we’ve got a couple really strong candidates,” Morouney said. “It’s going to be an interesting race.”
Bob Fizzell, Democratic Party of Rock County chair, said Benedict’s decision is a disappointment to voters.
“He’s had strong support here,” Fizzell said. “That would be a major loss to the county.”
No Democrats have announced their candidacy for Benedict’s seat, but the district remains winnable for the party, Fizzell said.
Voters believe in the Democratic message of government for the people and not for corporations, he said.
Benedict announced Wednesday he would not seek re-election.
"It has been an honor to hold this seat as state representative, a position that has both humbled and inspired me as we all work for the future health and prosperity of our community and the state of Wisconsin," he said in a news release. "I have decided, however, that I would like to continue my service to our great community as a private citizen."
Benedict is a retired physician. He most recently was chairman of the public health committee and a member of the jobs and economy, corrections and courts and health and health care reform committees.
Sen. Judy Robson, D-Beloit, said Benedict brought a physician’s perspective to government.
“He never wavered in his commitment to affordable health care for everyone,” she said in a news release. “I thank him for his contributions to moving Wisconsin closer to that goal.”