Sunday, April 22nd

Joel Kleefisch(Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

MADISON - Rep. Joel Kleefisch announced Monday he won't run for re-election this fall. 

Kleefisch, a Concord Republican and the husband of Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, said he was the happiest he's ever been and was leaving now so he can spend more time with his two daughters — Ella Rose, 15, and Violet, 12. 

"My children have never known a parent outside of elected office," said Kleefisch, 46. "It's time they get at least one parent without a target on their back."

He said he would consider a number of possible jobs in the private sector, noting he had worked closely on issues related to the outdoors, law enforcement and people with disabilities. He did not rule out lobbying but said he was unlikely to run for office again. 

He touted legislation he has authored to simplify hunting and fishing regulations and crack down on opioid abuse and human trafficking.