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Longtime Wisconsin Rep. Sensenbrenner Won't Seek Re-Election

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) is retiring after representing suburban Milwaukee in Congress for four decades. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) is retiring after representing suburban Milwaukee in Congress for four decades. |  Photo: U.S. House

Created: September 05, 2019 11:21 AM

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Longtime Wisconsin Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner says he won't seek re-election.

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The 76-year-old Sensenbrenner said Wednesday he will retire from Congress in January 2021, at the end of his current term.

Sensenbrenner has served in Congress for 40 years, representing southeastern Wisconsin. Before that he served 10 years in the Wisconsin Legislature.

Sensenbrenner said that when he began public service in 1968, he said he would know when it was time to step back. He says he's determined that after he completes this term - his 21st in Congress - "it will be that time."

He says he thinks he's leaving his district, the Republican Party and the country "in a better place" than when he began his service.

Sensenbrenner led passage of the Patriot Act after the 9/11 attacks.

Retirement could set off Republican stampede

Sensenbrenner's retirement could be a once-in-a-generation chance for Republicans to take a seat that Sensenbrenner has held safely since 1979.

His suburban Milwaukee district has long been the heart of Wisconsin's conservative base. The area has long been home to many of the state's most prominent conservatives, including former Gov. Scott Walker.

Former state Sen. Leah Vukmir said Thursday she is "strongly considering" running. Numerous others weighing it include state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald; state Sens. Dale Kooyenga and Chris Kapenga; Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow; and former U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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