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Senate Democrat Bob Jauch won't seek re-election next fall

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A 31-year veteran of the Wisconsin Legislature plans to retire at the end of next year. 

Senate Democrat Bob Jauch of Poplar in far northwest Wisconsin said Wednesday he would not seek re-election next fall.  

The 67-year-old Jauch was first elected to the state Assembly in 1982. Four years later, he was voted into to the Senate -- and he was re-elected six more times. 

Jauch will have served for 28 years in the upper house when he leaves. 

In recent years, Jauch has been a critic of the proposed Gogebic Taconite iron ore mine, which is located in his district. 

Republican Senate President Mike Ellis of Neenah said the Legislature would lose a great leader. Ellis remembered making a major budget deal with Jauch back in the 1990's. 

Ellis called Jauch a relic from, "a different era when it wasn't a sin to compromise with the other side."  Ellis will join veteran Senate Democrat Tim Cullen of Janesville in walking out the door at the end of 2014. 

Republicans currently control the Senate 18-15. Jauch's district has traditionally been overwhelmingly Democratic. 

Senate Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he wasn't sure how the GOP's redistricting affected the makeup of the district -- but Fitzgerald promised his party would put up a candidate.