Sen. Dale Schultz announces he will not seek re-election - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Sen. Dale Schultz announces he will not seek re-election

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) announced Sunday night he will not seek re-election to his 17th District seat.  

A spokesperson for Sen. Schultz confirmed to 27 News that he will finish his term and step down at the end of the year.

Sen. Schultz's decision comes more than nine months after Rep. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) announced he would challenge the six-term incumbent in a Republican primary this year.

Rep. Marklein pointed to Sen. Schultz's votes against Act 10 in 2011 and two subsequent mining bills as the reason for his challenge.

In the months that followed, Rep. Marklein built a huge fundraising advantage, raking in more than $94,000 in campaign contributions by June 30, 2013, compared to Schultz's $684.

Rep. Marklein also gained the support of several GOP county chairs in District 17.
 
Sen. Schultz fueled some speculation that he may seek reelection as an Independent this fall, bypassing a GOP primary.  But he ultimately decided to call it quits.
 
That means Rep. Marklein and Democrat Ernie Wittwer, the former budget director for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, are the only remaining candidates in District 17.
 
A 31-year veteran of the state legislature, Schultz was first elected to the State Assembly in 1982.   In 1991, he won a special election to the Senate and was re-elected five more times.
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