State Rep. Sandy Pasch not seeking re-election to Assembly

MADISON (AP) — State Rep. Sandy Pasch, the second highest ranking Democrat in the Wisconsin state Assembly, is not seeking re-election to the seat she's held since 2009.

Pasch announced Friday that she would be retiring at the end of her term this year. She becomes the sixth Democrat to announce they are not running for the Assembly again. Ten Republicans are also not seeking re-election to the 99-member Assembly.

Pasch, of Shorewood, is the assistant Assembly Democratic leader. Pasch says she is not running again "due to personal matters and family health circumstances."

The 59-year-old Pasch is a psychiatric nurse by training. In 2011, she challenged Republican Sen. Alberta Darling in a recall election but lost.

Republicans hold a 60-39 majority in the Assembly.

Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) released the following statement after learning Pasch will not run for re-election:

“I have been extremely fortunate to serve alongside Rep. Pasch for nearly six years, including her nearly three years as Assistant Democratic Leader. As a clinical nurse, her service on the Assembly Health Committee was very important throughout her service in the legislature, where she has done remarkable work in the arena of public health. But she will probably be remembered most for her extremely successful work in mental health.

As a long-time mental health nurse, Rep. Pasch has helped to provide better services and address how mental illness impacts families and communities across our state. In her first term, she was able to achieve something Wisconsin has been working on for decades – mental health parity.

This session, several very important mental health bills passed where you can clearly recognize Rep. Pasch’s influence shining through. Her hard work and determination as Vice-Chair of the Speaker’s Task Force on Mental Health was one of the primary driving forces behind getting those recommendations passed by the legislature and signed into law.

During her time in the Assembly, Rep. Pasch has been a tremendous advocate for her constituents and for the people of Wisconsin. Her experience, leadership and professionalism will be greatly missed here at the Capitol and by the people she represents in the 10th Assembly District. I join my legislative colleagues in wishing her the absolute best in her future endeavors.”