WISCONSINREPORT.COM (03/24/08) - A Wisconsin Assembly Representative who counts legislation about organ donation, drug assistance for seniors, and working on a statewide spending cap, as meaningful during the time he has served in the Assembly, is retiring. 57th Assembly District Representative Steve Wieckert has decided to not seek re-election this year. Republican Weickert is from the Appleton area, and expects to return to work there upon his retirement from public service. Wieckert is currently Assembly Housing Committee chairperson, and part of the narrow Republican majority in the Assembly.
“After much prayer and deliberation, I have decided not to seek re-election for the State Assembly in 2008," Wieckert said when announcing his decision.
Wieckert was first elected to the State Assembly in 1996, and is currently one of 52 Republicans in the Assembly. Republicans now have 5 more votes than Democrats in the Assembly. Democrats have 47 elected Assembly Representatives, with hopes of gaining some seats away from Republicans in currently Republican represented districts during the upcoming November elections.
"With the unexpected death of my father a few months ago, I must take some time to bring to closure a considerable number of Wieckert family business and real estate activities," Wieckert explained.
"This has been a very difficult decision. I love the work I am doing representing Appleton residents at the State Capitol," Wieckert continued.
"It has truly been an honor and privilege to serve as a State Representative for the past 12 years and I am grateful to my constituents for all of their encouragement and inspiration.”
“When I was elected to the State Assembly, my father and I had numerous real estate holdings we decided to put on the back burner until a future date so that I would be able to focus my attention on my legislative duties," Steve Wieckert pointed out.
"Now with the untimely passing of my dad it is necessary to finish the work he and I had started but are unfortunately not able to complete as a team,” Wieckert said.
Wieckert noted with appreciation the advice he has received over the years from others who at one time represented this 57th district, including Judge Harold Froelich, former Congressman Toby Roth and Supreme Court Justice David Prosser.
“I have always tried to build bridges and work with all legislators in finding solutions to the challenges Wisconsin faces," Wieckert said. "I like to be a consensus builder."
"At the end of the day it is important to have results to show for our work. Many bills I have authored have become law. I am very appreciative of the help of many democrat and republican legislators working together as a team to make this happen,” Wieckert said.
Wieckert noted that some of his most meaningful accomplishments included passing a law to promote organ donation named Cody’s Law, which was since enacted in 13 other states; creating Senior Care, Wisconsin’s drug assistance program for seniors; and advancing a statewide spending cap that limits the growth of government spending, establishing a foundation which may help lower Wisconsin taxes in the future, which passed the assembly by a large bipartisan margin of over 70 votes.
After closing out the family business and real estate holdings, Wieckert plans to explore private or public sector opportunities in the Appleton area.
“Although I will not be running for re-election in November, I am hopeful that there will be future opportunities for public service,” the 53 year old Wieckert said.
“I will greatly miss serving everyone. On my desk at the Capitol is a plaque that says ‘Remember the people who brought you here.’ Constituent service has always been a top priority. I sincerely thank all of my constituents for their wonderful support over the years.”
In addition to chairing the Housing Committee, Wieickert is co-chair of the Legislative Committee, and a member of the committees on Labor and Industry, Financial Institutions, and Health and Healthcare Reform. He has also served as chairperson for a Legislative Committee Special Committee on Debt Management Services.