State Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) announced Monday that he will not be seeking re-election to the Assembly. Kleefisch made the announcement in a Facebook posting along with pictures of his family, including his wife Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, as well as pictures from his career in the Assembly.
It’s with an overwhelmingly grateful heart I am announcing today that I will not seek re-election to the 38th Wisconsin State Assembly District. Words can’t describe what an honor it’s been to be part of Wisconsin’s successes for nearly 14 years. My first bill signed into law ensured child victims of sex crimes don’t have to face their abusers in court. From then until now, I have never stopped believing that hard work and heartfelt convictions can make this state a better place for the people who live here. I have honored veterans, investigated district concerns, mourned with grieving constituents and congratulated students. I am blessed to have had such victories in fighting human trafficking, combatting the opioid crisis, cracking down on sex offenders and making it easier for more hunters and anglers to get into Wisconsin’s great outdoors.
I have never seen this job as a career. My kids have never really known parents outside of elective office. It’s time for them to sit with me on the side of a parade route. I’m so excited for the next chapter. At the same time, I could never have asked for more blessings, better friends or more meaningful accomplishments than I’ve had here. I would never be at this point if it weren’t my wife Becky, my kids Ella and Violet, my supporters, and those who brought the hate as hard as they could. God bless you all and thanks for the ride of a lifetime.
Kleefisch is an avid outdoorsman and hunter, and a former broadcast news personality at WISN-TV in Milwaukee.
His district, the 38th Assembly district, is generally Republican. In 2016, President Donald Trump received 56.8 percent of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s 38.23 percent. Kleefisch outperformed Trump, winning 62.8 percent of the vote. Kleefisch was first elected to the district in 2004.
The only declared candidate for the seat currently is Democrat Melissa Winker, a teacher in the Oconomowoc School District.