During my time in the State Legislature, I’ve had the opportunity to work with and get to know many great people. One person that stands out for her courage, integrity, work ethic and intelligence is State Senator Leah Vukmir. In my first term, Leah quickly became a colleague I could turn to for advice or an explanation of the many complicated issues confronting new legislators.

In the 2011-12 session of the Legislature, I had the opportunity to serve as co-chair with Leah on the Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules, also known as JCRAR. This complicated sounding committee with the long name has the responsibility to review, approve or reject the great number of rules that are promulgated by the many state agencies. Leah was an outstanding co-chair who always had a firm grasp of the many complicated rules that came before the committee.

You may recall that the 2011-12 session of the Legislature was marked by extensive protests in Madison, with many legislators being threatened and harassed by the throngs of protestors at the Capitol. Never once did I see Leah be intimidated or lose her focus on the issues before the Legislature.

Leah’s courage was especially apparent when she gave up a safe Assembly seat to run against an incumbent Democrat senator in 2010. The other two Assembly seats in the Senate district were held by Democrats. Leah won that election and has served with distinction in the State Senate ever since.

Leah has used her education and experience as a nurse in the Legislature, chairing the Committee on Health and Human Services. She also serves as assistant majority leader in the State Senate. And most important to me, she is a committed conservative and has introduced and supported a wide array of important legislation, including bills to protect the lives of the unborn, expand educational opportunities and implementing right-to-work in Wisconsin.

She has also introduced and supported a long list of bills to get tough on repeat criminals and those who commit crimes while on probation. We have also worked together in an effort to repeal Wisconsin’s minimum markup law.

So I know Leah, and believe she will serve as a great United States senator from Wisconsin. She has stood up to all of the challenges in representing her Assembly and Senate Districts and has a long list of accomplishments. She will take her skills and dedication to Washington and represent us well.

So for me, there is no question who should be the next U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. Leah Vukmir is a proven conservative, dedicated legislator, a nurse and a mother who will serve our state well.

Jim Ott (R-Mequon) is the state representative for the 23rd Assembly District.