Longtime GOP Sen. Luther Olsen stepping down

State Sen. Luther Olsen
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MADISON, Wis. (AP/WMTV) -- Longtime Republican state lawmaker Luther Olsen will not seek re-election.

"It has been an honor to serve in the state legislature, but there comes a time in life when it’s time to move on,” Olsen explained.

Olsen is a moderate in the Republican majority who survived a 2011 recall attempt and served as head of the Senate's Education Committee.

Olsen turns 70 on Wednesday.

He announced Monday that he will step down after serving 16 years in the Senate representing a south-central Wisconsin district that includes all or portions of nine counties, from Dane in the south to Waupaca in the north.

Moments after he announced his decision, Republican Rep. Joan Ballweg, of Markesan, said that she would run to replace him.

“Since first being elected, I have pushed for less regulation and common-sense measures that benefit my constituents,” said Ballweg. “In the state senate, I will continue to listen to and connect with the concerns and interests of those at home and do all I can to be their voice in Madison.”

Ballweg was first elected to the state assembly in 2004.