After 44 years serving in the Wisconsin Legislature, Senate President Mike Ellis, R-Neenah, announced Friday he would not run for re-election come November due to his growing frustrations with the Wisconsin political arena.
Ellis’ announcement came two days after the release of a controversial video Wednesday, implicating the Senator in the planning of illegal campaign fundraising and attack ad campaigns.
Ellis’ announcement leaves Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber, D-Appleton, as the sole candidate for the upcoming Senate seat race.
In a statement, Ellis said today’s political scene has become a place without compromise, controlled by special interest groups, and this is an arena he does not fit in with.
“The world has changed and to be honest with you I just don’t fit in there anymore. I grew up where you could be an independent thinker and still work out compromises,” Ellis told WTMJ-AM.
Ellis joins four other Senators in their retirement following the end of this session, including Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center; Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville; Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar; and Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine.
Schultz, Cullen and Jauch are all known for their moderate political stances, a quality Ellis hails in his statement.
“Like my dear friends, Tim Cullen, Bob Jauch, and Dale Schultz, I see that compromise is not valued in today’s Capitol environment, and that means I don’t fit in any more,” Ellis said.