BROOKFIELD — U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner won’t seek a 22nd term in Congress.
Sensenbrenner, 76, and second in seniority in the House, has served since 1979.
His district includes the state’s highest-turnout GOP communities in the suburbs and exurbs outside Milwaukee.
Prior to his election to Congress, Sensenbrenner served 10 years in the Wisconsin Legislature.
His district covers portions of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Dodge and Walworth counties, and all of Jefferson and Washington counties.
Constituent Mike Yanke said Sensenbrenner has been a good representative.
"I think he has been a pretty strong conservative with his actions and what he has done," said Yanke.
Constituent Don Eisenhauer said he enjoyed seeing Sensenbrenner in holiday parades.
"I used to see him in the parade walking with his tennis shoes. Whatever side of the aisle you're on, it doesn't really matter. Change is the one constant."
Here is Sensenbrenner's statement:
“When I began my public service in 1968, I said I would know when it was time to step back. After careful consideration, I have determined at the completion of this term, my 21st term in Congress, it will be that time.
“For 40 years I have held over 100 town hall meetings each year; I have helped countless individuals when they have encountered difficulties with the federal government; I've taken 23,882 votes on the House Floor; been the lead sponsor or co-sponsor of 4299 pieces of legislation; ushered 768 of them through the House for passage, and watched as 217 of them have been signed into law by six different presidents.
"I think I am leaving this district, our Republican Party, and most important, our country, in a better place than when I began my service.
“It has been my privilege to serve the people of Southeast Wisconsin and I have found true fulfillment in all the challenges and many accomplishments that have peppered my long career. It is rare when life presents the perfect opportunity to make an impact in a way that has been so meaningful. I am forever grateful.
“I will have many more things to say as I serve out my final term, but I will start here by sincerely thanking, first, my family, along with my supporters, my colleagues, and my staff. The many people who have supported my career have mostly gone uncelebrated, but I will purposefully set out in the next year to say my thanks and let them know I could not have done it alone. I look forward to finishing strong and beginning my next chapter.”
Here is a statement from U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil:
“Jim Sensenbrenner is a legend of Wisconsin politics and will be missed. His relentless commitment to both listen to and serve Southeast Wisconsin is what has made him an outstanding legislator for 50 years. From leading efforts to keep America safe after 9/11 to serving as a fiscal watchdog constantly looking out for taxpayers, Jim has been a stalwart public servant. While his presence will be deeply missed in Congress, his reputation for doing the right things for the right reasons will long outlast his tenure. I will miss serving with Jim in the House."
Here is reaction from former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan:
"He has provided an amazing example for generations of Wisconsin Republican legislators to follow and showed us how to be effective advocates and representatives. "
The Republican Party of Wisconsin issued the following statement from Chairman Andrew Hitt:
“It’s hard to overstate the legacy of Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner. For the past forty years, he has been a larger than life figure in Wisconsin’s conservative movement. His service has been virtually unmatched, and his commitment to his constituents and the people of Wisconsin has been tireless. While there is no doubt that Congressman Sensenbrenner’s retirement will leave a void in our party for years to come, we are so incredibly grateful for everything he has given to us, and we hope he will continue to provide guidance to our party for years to come. I, along with everyone at the Republican Party of Wisconsin, wish Rep. Sensenbrenner the absolute best in his retirement.”
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald's statement:
"Jim Sensenbrenner is a conservative icon in Wisconsin. From Reagan to Trump, Jim helped build Southeast Wisconsin into the Republican stronghold that it is today. He advocated passionately on behalf of the unborn and the disabled. He stood up for taxpayers and was always accessible to his constituents.
"The people of the Fifth Congressional District have benefited from Jim’s strong conservative voice for years, and now more than ever they deserve another strong conservative voice fighting on their behalf in Washington."
Congressman Mike Gallagher's statement:
“Over his four decades in Congress, Jim Sensenbrenner has demonstrated how to represent the people of Wisconsin with honor and distinction. He has been an instrumental voice in the key policy debates of our time, and his passion, expertise, and wisdom will be greatly missed in the House of Representatives. I am proud to call Jim a friend and am grateful for all that I have learned from serving with him in Congress.”
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement:
“Jim Sensenbrenner is already a legend in the Judiciary Committee and in the House of Representatives. His contributions will always be a part of our committee’s history. As a three-term chairman, Jim was instrumental in passing the Patriot Act, ADA Amendments Act and USA Freedom Act. For four decades, he legislated boldly while holding thousands of town halls with his fellow Wisconsinites. Jim’s love for his wife, family and state shows in all he does. I’m glad we have the chance to continue serving alongside him this Congress, and I’ll miss the insight and experience he brings to the Judiciary Committee.”