Key Republican Assembly leader won’t seek reelection

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke announced Tuesday that he won’t seek reelection this fall.

Steineke said in a news release that he believes the time has come to “pass the torch” and he will refocus on returning to the private sector.

The Kaukauna Republican was first elected to the Assembly in 2010 and just months later helped pass Act 10, then-Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to strip most public workers of their union rights. The GOP caucus made him assistant majority leader in 2013 and majority leader in 2015.

Republican Reps. Jeremy Thiesfedt, Gary Tauchen; and Amy Loudenbeck, who is running for secretary of state, already have announced they won’t seek reelection. Democratic Reps. Beth Meyers, Diane Hesselbein, David Bowen and Sara Rodriguez aren’t running again. Hesselbein is running for state Senate and Bown and Rodriguez are running for lieutenant governor.

Sens. Jon Erpenbach, a Democrat, and Kathy Bernier, a Republican, also have announced they won’t run again. Hesselbein is running for Erpenbach’s seat.