MADISON (AP) – Republican state Sen. Neal Kedzie’s sudden and unexpected retirement announcement on Tuesday has another long-serving conservative lawmaker considering a run for Kedzie’s southeastern Wisconsin seat.
Rep. Steve Nass, a Whitewater Republican, is seriously considering a run and will announce his decision as soon as Wednesday, his spokesman Mike Mikalsen said.
Nass has spoken with the other two Republican representatives in the Senate district and they’ve agreed to support him should he run, Mikalsen said. Nass was first elected to the Assembly in 1990.
Neither of those other two representatives – Tyler August, of Lake Geneva, and Amy Loudenbeck, of Clinton – returned messages seeking comment. The Senate district is solidly Republican.
Kedzie, 58, of Elkhorn, issued a statement announcing his retirement and did not immediately return a message left at his Capitol office seeking more comment. Kedzie said he was retiring to spend more time with his family and pursue opportunities outside of state government.
The announcement came three weeks after Kedzie filed paperwork for re-election and said he was running again. The deadline for candidates to announce they are running for Kedzie’s seat is June 2.
Kedzie is the seventh senator, and the fourth Republican, to announce he will not seek re-election. Republicans currently hold an 18-15 majority in the Senate.
Kedzie was first elected to the Senate in 2002 after serving four years in the Assembly. 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’s 11th Senate District includes portions of Jefferson, Waukesha, Rock, Walworth and Kenosha counties.