Longtime state Senator and former Senate leader Judy Robson said today she will not seek re-election - the third senator to do so this month.
Robson, 70, was the second woman to serve as the Senate Majority Leader and the first Democratic woman to do so. A retired registered nurse, Robson focused much of her work as a lawmaker on health care issues such as the BadgerCare Plus expansion of state medical coverage for the poor.
"As a legislative leader, I sought to make the Legislature more civil, ethical and open to citizens. It was an exhilarating experience," Robson said in a statement.
Robson was first elected to the Assembly in a June 1987 special election and was elected to the Senate in 1998.
Former Senate Majority Leader Mary Panzer, a Republican, is the only other woman to have held the Senate's top post.
Before completing a full year in her leadership post, Robson was toppled from it in October 2007 by a challenge from current Majority Leader Russ Decker, D-Weston. Robson blamed this "coup" in part on sexism on the part of her colleagues but Decker aides have denied that.
Robson said she would refocus her energies in a "new direction" but did not say what it would be.
Earlier this month, both Sen. Alan Lasee, R-De Pere, and Sen. Ted Kanavas, R-Brookfield, said they would not seek reelection.