Voters in Green Bay and parts of western Wisconsin are going to have to pick two new lawmakers later this year. 

Rep. Bob Kulp, R-Stratford, and Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, on Thursday both announced plans to retire after the 2020 legislative session. 

“It has been one of the great honors of my lifetime to serve my friends and neighbors in the State Assembly and to represent the 69th District,” Kulp said. “I’ve enjoyed doing that for six years. I’ve learned a lot personally, grown in every human way imaginable, but now it’s time to make way for someone new to bring their best to this job.”

Kulp’s district covers parts of three counties in western Wisconsin. He represents a Republican area in Clark, Marathon and Wood counties. 

“I never set out to make this a ‘career,’ and have always had a great admiration for public servants who knew when to step back and let others pick up the torch,” Kulp added. 

The other announcement came from across the state. 

Hansen’s district stretches from Green Bay to the state line with the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“After much thought, reflection and discussion with my wife Jane and my family, I have decided not to seek re-election to the State Senate and retire at the conclusion of my current term,” Hansen said in a statement. “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.”

Hansen’s district, without him, could now be in play for Republicans. 

“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,” Hansen said. “I believe had I chosen to run again I would win.”

Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.

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