GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Dem. State Sen. Dave Hansen will retire at the end of his legislative term.
Hansen, who represents the Green Bay area, says he is stepping away from politics to spend more time with family.
“On December 18th I turned 72. And as much as it has become a cliché in politics, I truly am retiring to spend more time with my family. I have no fears about my chances for reelection having survived an attempted recall in 2011 and winning handily in a district that Republicans told me they gerrymandered specifically to defeat me. I believe had I chosen to run again I would win," says Hansen.
The Green Bay native will step aside from his 30th Senate District seat at the end of 2020. That opens the doors for what will likely be a hotly-contested race to replace him.
“As much as I’ve enjoyed my time in the State Senate, however, after what will be 40 years of public service I am looking forward to January 2021 and beginning a the next chapter in my life with Jane and my family," says Hansen.
Hansen serves on the following committees: Natural Resources and Energy; Public Benefits, Licensing and State-Federal Relations; and Transportation, Veterans and Military Affairs.
Hansen won re-election to the State Senate in November 2016, defeating Republican challenger Eric Wimberger by just over 2,000 votes.
Chairman of the Republican Party of Brown County, James Fitzgerald tells us Wimberger does plan to run again.
"Certainly opens the doors of opportunity for the republican party of brown county and we're excited about the candidates that we have taking look at that position," said Fitzgerald.
Hansen was elected to the 30th Senate District in November 2000. Prior to the election, Hansen served on the Brown County Board from 1996-2002.
He's the only democrat out of nine senators representing northeast Wisconsin.
Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich says Hansen taught him a lot about public service and politics.
“There is no replacing Dave. We can only hope that his successor will seek inspiration from the example he has set with his love for this community and in his commitment to his ideals," says Genrich.
“Personally, and on behalf of the City of Green Bay, I thank Senator Hansen for his decades of service and leadership, and I wish him and Jane all the very best in their well-earned retirement together."
“Senator Hansen has served the people in the 30th District proudly over the past two decades,” said Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach in a statement Thursday.
“Dave has championed many issues that have benefited the Greater Green Bay area and has been a friend of Brown County during my tenure as County Executive. I know that much like myself, Dave enjoys spending time with his family and can now focus on that after giving much of his life to helping our community.”