Milwaukee Democratic Senator Nikiya Harris Dodd won't seek re-election

MADISON -- Senator Nikiya Harris Dodd (D-Milwaukee) announced Thursday, February 25th that she will not seek re-election in 2016. Senator Harris Dodd was elected to the 6th Senate District in 2013.

Harris Dodd issued the below statement to FOX6 News:

"I am honored to have earned the trust and respect of my constituents to serve as their voice in the fight for justice, fairness, and equity for the people in our great state. As the eldest of thirteen siblings, I have never shied away from making difficult decisions or taking on tough challenges. My decision to not seek re-election is at the top of the list of many difficult decisions I have made. My love, passion, and commitment to improve conditions for citizens of Milwaukee will continue to be my driving force.

"My desire to positively impact the lives of others runs deep. After the loss of my mother fifteen years ago, I raised three of my youngest siblings, determined to keep them out of the foster care system. Keeping my family together is just one small example of my strength and determination. As the new mother of a 16-month-old son, I am now blessed with an even greater mission.

"I am proud of my record in the Wisconsin State Senate. As a Senator, I partnered with the community to advance proposals that increase public safety, increase our commitment to public education, support our infrastructure, create economic opportunities, and advance equality in all aspects of our lives. I have been privileged to lead the Unite Milwaukee Summit, a collaboration of the Milwaukee community to map out the steps we can take to prevent violence in our neighborhoods. It is through the combined effort of young people, community members, the media, elected officials, and the police that we will solve the problem of gun violence in Milwaukee.

“Public service is a calling and I have been honored to answer that call. I am very grateful to all those who worked and sacrificed to support my service.”

Senator Harris Dodd currently serves on the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, the Senate Committees on Government Operations and Consumer Protection, Insurance and Housing, and Public Benefit and Regulatory Reform. In addition she serves on the WHEDA board, she is an active member of the Milwaukee Partnership Council, she is a member of the Black Male Achievement Advisory Council, she is a commissioner on the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, and she is the Chair of the Wisconsin State Legislature’s Black and Latino Caucus.

Senator Harris Dodd started her political career on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. As a county supervisor, she defeated the conservative-leaning Democratic sheriff by returning the House of Correction back to the office of the county executive. This resulted in the implementation and restoration of important inmate treatment and diversion programming for non-violent offenders. These changes increased evidenced-based decision-making practices, while saving money. She also led the fight for voters' rights by opposing Governor Scott Walker's Voter ID law. She eased voter access to the polls by passing an initiative to allow thousands of Milwaukee residents to receive a free birth certificate.