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Politics & Government

Longest-Serving Legislator Fred Risser Won't Seek Reelection

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Maayan Silver
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The longest-serving legislator in the United States, Wisconsin state Sen. Fred Risser, is finally going to call it quits. He's pictured here in his office in 2019.

The longest-serving legislator in the United States is finally going to call it quits. Wisconsin state Sen. Fred Risser announced Thursday that he won't seek reelection this fall. 

Risser represents the Madison area. He's 92 years old and in his 64th year as a Wisconsin legislator, making him the longest-serving legislator in state and national history. 

"There’s no one that’s got the experience I have. No one that’s got the background I have. I have for 50 years not missed a roll call. I’ve been here at all times. I will say this: We need young people in the Legislature. We need older people in the Legislature. We need all races. We need all sexes," he said in an August 2019 interview with WUWM's Maayan Silver and Wisconsin's youngest legislator state Rep. Kalan Haywood. The two have a 72-year age gap. 

According to Risser's office, he's also the last World War II veteran remaining in the state legislatures and Congress. He was the architect of Wisconsin's indoor smoking ban.

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