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Wisconsin Senator Dale Schultz won't seek re-election

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - One of Wisconsin's most moderate state legislators is calling it quits, saying he's not willing to participate in, "partisan conformity."

Senate Republican Dale Schultz, a 30-year legislative veteran from Richland Center, said Monday there's "more to life" than being a senator.

It's been speculated for months whether Schultz would run again, after conservative Assembly Republican Howard Marklein of Spring Green said he'd run for the Senate seat in a primary this August.

The 60-year-old Schultz went against his Republican party line twice on mining the past two years -- and he voted against Scott Walker's collective bargaining limits in 2011.

In a statement, Schultz cited the U.S. Supreme Court "Citizens United" decision that allowed businesses to spend money on campaigns. Because of that, he said "compromise has given way to partisan conformity."

Marklein praised Schultz Monday, saying he's been a strong advocate for his district. Schultz said he could not endorse Marklein, saying he's out of step with the Senate district's views.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cited an analysis by GOP lobbyist and former lawmaker Joe Handrick, showing that Schultz's district is now 52.4 percent Democratic. Former state DOT budget director Ernie Wittwer is running for Schultz's seat as a Democrat.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)