GOP Rep. Kathy Bernier announced today her bid to replace Republican Sen. Terry Moulton in the 23rd Senate District.

Moulton, 71, was elected to the Assembly in 2004 and served two terms before losing the seat in 2008. He then won his Senate seat in 2010.

“When I began my campaign for the Senate, eight years ago this month, my goals were to work for smaller government, reduced tax burden, and a better climate for jobs in Wisconsin,” the Chippewa Falls Republican said. “We have accomplished all this and more. Income and property taxes are lower, more people are working than ever before, and unemployment is at a 17-year low.”

Meanwhile, Bernier, who made her announcement at the Lake Hallie village hall this morning, told that for personal reasons she had originally intended to retire from politics, but due to changing circumstances late in the process, changed course and will run for the seat.

“I remain committed to the same principles that have guided my work in the Assembly: responsible taxes, sound budgets, safe schools and communities and worker training,” she said. “While Washington D.C. might be in turmoil, Wisconsinites have a government that is working for them every day.”

Moulton is the fifth member of the state Senate to opt against seeking re-election this fall: Sheila Harsdorf, of River Falls, resigned her seat late last year to join the Walker administration, as did fellow Republican Frank Lasee, of DePere. Meanwhile, Republican Leah Vukmir, of Brookfield, is running for the U.S. Senate, and Dem Kathleen Vinehout, of Alma, is running for guv.

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