Oconomowoc Rep. Joel Kleefisch announces he's leaving politics

NOW: Oconomowoc Rep. Joel Kleefisch announces he’s leaving politics

Representative Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc, had his children visit him at the Capitol as he announced he’s hanging it up.

“My last bills are being signed today, and the governor shook my hand and he gripped it tight and he didn’t let go," Joel Kleefisch said. He said, Joel, you did a lot of great things in this building.”

Him and his wife, Lt. Gov Rebecca Kleefisch say it will be nice to have one parent without out of politics for the kids.

“For the last 7 years, we’ve gotten up and said today we’re going to serve the people of Wisconsin," Rebecca said. "That’s a choice. And sometimes that choice takes us away from our family.”

Kleefisch is the ninth Republican Assembly incumbent to announce they won’t seek reelection, as opposed to three Democrats.

He says it’s very similar to Speaker Paul Ryan’s reasoning.

"When Speaker Ryan announced on television i think we looked at each other and said he just stole our speech," Joel said." "We get it. He gets it. My kids are number one. There is nothing in this works more important."

Joel says he is done with politics,  but thinks Rebecca could be successful running for higher office.

“if at some point in the future some opportunity arises for her to seek a higher office, i will cherish being the man next to her behind the scenes.”

“We’ve broken enough news today,” Rebecca responded.

Joel says he will finish his term through December, and then join the private sector.

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