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Rhoades announces retirement from Assembly

  • In a March 17 letter to supporters Rep. Kitty Rhoades, R-Hudson, said she will announce Friday that she is retiring from the Wisconsin Assembly.
  • Rhoades, 58, has represented the 30th Assembly District for the past 12 years. Her current two-year term ends Dec. 31. She said she intends to fill out the term.
  • "Our lives come in phases, and it's time to move on to the next phase now," said Rhoades in a phone interview Thursday morning. She said she is announcing now to give potential candidates time to weigh their options before the election filing period opens in June.
  • "In my six terms in office, I have been part of a number of great accomplishments," wrote Rhoades. She was the first Republican Assembly woman to serve as co-chair of the Legislature's budget-writing panel, Joint Committee on Finance.
  • During that session Joint Finance "successfully approved a budget that stopped over $15 billion in tax increases while leaving the state with the lowest deficit in the past 12 years," said Rhoades
  • Rhoades also helped pass legislation to make it harder to get materials to manufacture methamphetamine. She said that law served as a model for subsequent federal legislation.
  • Rhoades, who currently serves on the Assembly's Aging and Long-Term Care Committee and Health and Heathcare reform, also claimed credit for helping create "a program giving individuals with long-term health care needs direct control of their health care dollars."
  • "Twelve years ago, I told you I didn't set out to become an elected official -- my life led me there," said Rhoades. "Now the time has come for my life to lead me on to a new phase."
  • "I'm trying to make a graceful exit," said Rhoades. She said the Legislature ends its current term June 1 and has no regular business scheduled after that.
  • Rhoades, a graduate of Hudson High School who earned her bachelor's degree at UW-River Falls, worked as a teacher, a small business owner and a Chamber of Commerce president before being elected to the Assembly.

  • Judy Wiff

    Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.