Longtime Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Erpenbach retires

December 8, 2021 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, who has been in the state Senate since 1999 and is a member of the Legislature’s powerful budget-writing committee, announced Wednesday that he will not seek a seventh term next year.

Erpenbach, of West Point, represents a heavily Democratic district that includes most of western Dane County, northern Green County, eastern Iowa County, eastern Sauk County, and parts of western Columbia County.

He was one of 14 Senate Democrats who left the state in 2011 in a failed attempt to block passage of then-Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining law that became known as Act 10. He served as Senate majority leader from 2003 to 2005 and has been on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee since 2015.

Erpenbach advocated for expanded access to health care throughout his career. He also authored the bill that created Wisconsin’s “do not call” list in 2001.


Throughout his time in the Legislature, Erpenbach worked part-time jobs that included driving a hotel shuttle bus.

“I will miss spending time with all of the wonderful people across the state of Wisconsin that I have met along the way,” the 60-year-old Erpenbach said in a statement announcing his retirement. “I will also miss my Capitol parking space!”