U.S. Representative Tom Petri (R-WI) not seeking re-election. The congressman, who has held Wisconsin’s 6th congressional district seat since 1979, will make an official statement on Monday at his town hall meeting in Neenah.
Upon hearing the news, State Senator Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan) announced that he will take the next few days to consider running for Petri’s job. In a statement, Leibham says “Congressman Petri contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to retire.”
Leibham was first elected to the state Assembly in 1998, then went to the Senate starting in 2002. He says, “Out of love and respect for my family and country, I will take time over the next couple of days to consider, discuss and pray about how and where I can best use my time and talent to improve the quality of life for our state and nation.”
State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) has already announced his intentions to campaign for that seat, citing concerns about what he sees as the out-of-control growth of federal entitlement programs.
In a statement following the news about Petri, Grothman says, “I thank Congressman Petri for his dedicated years of service to the people of the 6th Congressional District. Congressman Petri is a good man and I wish him well as he transitions to retirement.”
Governor Walker issued a statement: “Congressman Tom Petri has been a long and trusted friend to Wisconsin and to me personally. We will miss his leadership – in particular on transportation and education issues. We thank him for his distinguished service.”
On Saturday afternoon, Republican state Representative Duey Stroebel threw his name into the race. “I’m running for Congress to create a stronger future for my children and all of Wisconsin and I’m committed to running a strong, well-financed campaign based on conservative principles that put power back into the hands of the people.”