State Rep. Leon Young from Milwaukee calls it quits, plans to return to job as police officer

MADISON — A longtime Milwaukee legislator is calling it quits.

Democratic state Rep. Leon Young announced Wednesday he won't seek re-election in November. He said he plans to return to his former job as a Milwaukee police officer and the current state of partisan politics and gridlock at the state Capitol made his choice easier.

Young has represented the 16th Assembly District since 1993. He's the 14th Assembly incumbent and fourth Democrat to decide not to seek re-election this year.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Milwaukee County Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde is planning to run for the seat. Omokunde is the son of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore. Wisconsin Election Commission records show Omokunde hasn't officially declared his candidacy yet.

Young's complete statement

"After nearly 26 years of service to the citizens of the City of Milwaukee and the 16th State Assembly District, I have made the extremely difficult decision to retire. Difficult only because I will miss the countless residents who have entrusted me to serve them and fight for their improved quality of life through the years. The current state of partisan politics and sheer gridlock at the state have made this choice a little easier.

"Through my tenure, I have been unyielding in the fight for affordable and adequate housing, employment for youth and adults, improved public safety through sponsored legislation on gun control, assault weapons bans, micro-stamping, stolen cars, driver's license, etc.

"Given the challenges this city and nation are now facing as it relates to community police relations, I have made the decision to return to where my professional career of service began, with the Milwaukee Police Department.

"The past two and a half decades of addressing the needs of residents and fighting for the community have equipped me well to be placed in a unique position to aid in ushering in much needed improved community police relations. With the change in leadership at the Milwaukee Police Department now is the perfect time for me to give of my time and talents to make lasting change on the issue of Public Safety in the city that is so dear to me.

"I look forward to the next generation of leadership for the district. I wish my colleagues well in the continued fight to make Wisconsin great for all.

"To the residents of the 16th State Assembly District, it has truly been an honor to serve each of you and I am eternally grateful for and humbled by your support through the years."