In a March 17 letter to supporters Rep. Kitty Rhoades, R-Hudson, said she will announce Friday that she is retiring from the Wisconsin Assembly.Rhoades, 58, has represented the 30th Assembly District for the past 12 years. Her current two-year term ends Dec. 31. She said she intends to fill out the term.“Our lives come in phases, and it’s time to move on to the next phase now,” said Rhoades in a phone interview Thursday morning. She said she is announcing now to give potential candidates time to weigh their options before the election filing period opens in June.“In my six terms in office, I have been part of a number of great accomplishments,” wrote Rhoades. She was the first Republican Assembly woman to serve as co-chair of the Legislature’s budget-writing panel, Joint Committee on Finance.During that session Joint Finance “successfully approved a budget that stopped over $15 billion in tax increases while leaving the state with the lowest deficit in the past 12 years,” said RhoadesRhoades also helped pass legislation to make it harder to get materials to manufacture methamphetamine. She said that law served as a model for subsequent federal legislation.Rhoades, who currently serves on the Assembly’s Aging and Long-Term Care Committee and Health and Heathcare reform, also claimed credit for helping create “a program giving individuals with long-term health care needs direct control of their health care dollars.”“Twelve years ago, I told you I didn’t set out to become an elected official -- my life led me there,” said Rhoades. “Now the time has come for my life to lead me on to a new phase.”“I’m trying to make a graceful exit,” said Rhoades. She said the Legislature ends its current term June 1 and has no regular business scheduled after that.Rhoades, a graduate of Hudson High School who earned her bachelor’s degree at UW-River Falls, worked as a teacher, a small business owner and a Chamber of Commerce president before being elected to the Assembly.
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