Earlier this week, Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the chairman of the committee's Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Transit announced he will seek re-election this November after 35 years in Congress. Petri, 73, whose retirement had been rumored for several weeks, made a formal announcement of his decision not to run again on Monday in Neenah, WI.
Petri has represented the Sixth District of Wisconsin since 1979, making him second in seniority in the Wisconsin congressional delegation, one the most senior members of Congress representing a Great Lakes state.
Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) had announced that he would challenge Petri for the GOP nomination for the Sixth Congressional District seat in Congress this year. Grothman now becomes the clear favorite to win the seat in November.
Petri's announcement brings the total number of open congressional seats this year to 44. Twenty-five of those seats are now or were recently occupied by Republicans and 19 of the seats are now or were controlled by Democrats.