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Petri: "No single reason" for retirement

NEENAH, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  U-S House Republican Tom Petri says there is no single reason he decided not to run for re-election this fall. At a town hall meeting in Neenah yesterday the Fond du Lac lawmaker explained his sudden announcement from last Friday.

Petri said 35 years in office is enough, and he refused to blame pressure from his party's conservative wing. His departure announcement came a few days after state Senate Republican Glenn Grothman of West Bend said he would run in a G-O-P primary against Petri. State Representative Duey Stroebel of Saukville also plans to seek the Republican bid -- and Sheboygan state Senator Joe Leibham is thinking about it. Senate G-O-P leader Scott Fitzgerald said yesterday he would not run for the congressional post, opting instead to seek a third term as the Senate's majority leader next year.

Petri mentioned the growing partisanship in politics, saying quote, "Neither party should concentrate on destroying the other." He said he was most proud of changing a federal highway formula that brought a billion more dollars to Wisconsin for road work. Petri also cited reforms he helped achieve for taxes, student loans, banking, and health care -- plus cost-sharing for federal water projects.

Petri would not comment on the House Ethics Committee probe he requested, for having stock in the Oshkosh Corporation while supporting federal contracts for the company.