State Rep. Ed Brooks announced Monday he will not seek reelection to the state Assembly in the Nov. 6 election. He has represented the 50th district for 10 years.
In a statement, Brooks said his health was “the determining factor,” in his decision to not run. He recently received medical test results indicating a need to maintain control over the leukemia he has battled for more than a year.
District 50 covers all of Juneau County and parts of Monroe, Richland, Vernon and Sauk Counties. He currently lives in Reedsburg.
Brooks served as chairman of the Urban and Local Affairs Committee, later renamed the Local Government Committee, and recently helped Mauston and other municipalities gain approval for placing welcome signs. He was a founding member of the Rural Wisconsin Initiative, which focuses on improving rural life and “bridging the gap with our urban neighbors in education, healthcare, technology and the workforce.” He also served on the Agriculture, Corrections, Jobs and the Economy, Mining and Rural Development, Transportation and Workforce Development Committees.
Brooks expressed gratitude to those who have supported him in his career and in life.
“I have so many people I’d like to thank, but especially those closest to me, my wife Barb, my children and grandchildren, have all played an important role in making my time in the legislature possible,” Brooks said. “For us, this has always been a family affair.” He also thanked his supporters, staff and friends.
Originally from Baraboo, Brooks served in the US Army Reserve for six years, was a town of Reedsburg supervisor and chair and received multiple awards for his service and accomplishments. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
As a Republican incumbent, Brooks faced an opponent in every election since he first ran for state Assembly in 2008. Most recently, he defeated Democratic challenger Art Schrader by about 4,000 votes and nearly 16 percentage points. Schrader is running for the seat again this year.
Brooks’ Legislative Assistant Kathryn Heitman was initially expected to run for the seat as a Republican, but Brooks says she is now reconsidering a potential bid. Brooks anticipates organic farmer and former congressional candidate Tony Kurtz will enter the race as a Republican.