GOP Rep. Mike Rohrkaste, a member of the Joint Finance Committee, told WisPolitics.com Tuesday he won’t seek reelection in 2020 to focus on his new post overseeing a non-profit that helps those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Rohrkaste, R-Neenah, has made dementia and Alzheimer’s two of his key issues during his three terms in the Legislature, including chairing a task force to address both diseases.
He was appointed executive director of the Fox Valley Memory Project, effective July 1, and Rohrkaste said he will fill out his current term while serving in the new position.
“It would be hard to do fundraising for the Memory Project and then do fundraising as a candidate,” Rohrkaste said in an interview. “It would just be awkward.”
Rohrkaste retired from Oshkosh Corp. as chief human resources office in 2014 and won his first term in the Assembly that year.
He said the Memory Project was fine with him continuing to serve in the Assembly through the end of this term. Rohrkaste said he has notified Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, of his decision and called serving in the Legislature “one of the best experiences of my life.”
He won re-election last fall with 55.2 percent of the vote in a Fox Valley district that former Gov. Scott Walker won with 53.2 percent.
“It actually gives me hope our government is run better than maybe what I thought before I got here, not that it’s perfect. But nothing ever is perfect,” Rohrkaste said.