After serving in the State Assembly for nearly 20 years, Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, announced Friday she will not be seeking re-election in the 77th District come fall.

One of the main reasons for Berceau’s departure is her frustration over the Republican party’s majority rule over the Assembly for 15 of her 17 years. She often felt the Republican legislature disregarded much of her work.

Nonetheless, Berceau thoroughly enjoyed her position and said she considered it less of a job and more of a passion. This was partially due to the work she did related to domestic violence, an area she feels passionately about.

Now, Berceau looks forward to the opportunity to enter a new stage of her life.

“It seemed like a good time to pursue other things,” Berceau said. “I love learning new things.”

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Although she is leaving, Berceau is confident the district will be in safe hands with a “left-leaning” legislature.

At 67, Berceau is at the age referred to by Social Security as “normal retirement age.” But instead of discontinuing her professional life altogether, Berceau is instead considering either working for the state Democratic Party or the University of Wisconsin.

“What would our state be without the university?” she said.

One of Berceau’s most notable actions during her time with the Assembly was pushing to raise the beer tax for the sake of providing state alcohol-abuse programs with more money. 

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To colleagues like Minority Leader Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, Berceau is known as a strong advocate for fair elections, the UW System and women’s health, and she will be greatly missed.

“Her background in local government, love for her community and sense of humor made her an important member of our Assembly Democratic Caucus,” Hintz said in a press release. “I will miss her positive presence in the Capitol, but I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”