MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Longtime Wisconsin Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner says he won't seek re-election.
The 76-year-old Sensenbrenner said Wednesday he will retire from Congress in January 2021, at the end of his current term.
Sensenbrenner has served in Congress for 40 years, representing southeastern Wisconsin. Before that he served 10 years in the Wisconsin Legislature.
Sensenbrenner said that when he began public service in 1968, he said he would know when it was time to step back. He says he's determined that after he completes this term -- his 21st in Congress -- "it will be that time."
He says he thinks he's leaving his district, the Republican Party and the country "in a better place" than when he began his service.
Sensenbrenner led passage of the Patriot Act after the 9/11 attacks.
Sensenbrenner issued the following statement:
“When I began my public service in 1968, I said I would know when it was time to step back. After careful consideration, I have determined at the completion of this term, my 21st term in Congress, it will be that time.
“For 40 years I have held over 100 town hall meetings each year; I have helped countless individuals when they have encountered difficulties with the federal government; I’ve taken 23,882 votes on the House Floor; been the lead sponsor or co-sponsor of 4299 pieces of legislation; ushered 768 of them through the House for passage, and watched as 217 of them have been signed into law by six different presidents.
“I think I am leaving this district, our Republican Party, and most important, our country, in a better place than when I began my service.
“It has been my privilege to serve the people of Southeast Wisconsin and I have found true fulfillment in all the challenges and many accomplishments that have peppered my long career. It is rare when life presents the perfect opportunity to make an impact in a way that has been so meaningful. I am forever grateful.
“I will have many more things to say as I serve out my final term, but I will start here by sincerely thanking, first, my family, along with my supporters, my colleagues, and my staff. The many people who have supported my career have mostly gone uncelebrated, but I will purposefully set out in the next year to say my thanks and let them know I could not have done it alone. I look forward to finishing strong and beginning my next chapter.”