GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) has announced he is retiring at the end of his current term.

“After much thought, reflection and discussion with my wife Jane and my family, I have decided not to seek re-election to the State Senate and retire at the conclusion of my current term.”

Sen. Hansen has been in office since 2001.

“I have been blessed in so many ways: meeting Jane and her agreeing to marry me, the birth of our three daughters Kathy, Cari and Christy; the addition of our three sons-in-law who together with our daughters have further blessed Jane and me with eleven terrific grandkids and also being given the privilege to serve on the Brown County Board and in the Wisconsin State Senate.”

“I am proud to have led a life of public service for more than forty years.”

Sen. Hansen first served as a teacher and coach at Annunciation Catholic School in Green Bay. He was also a member of the Brown County Board.

Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse), in response to Sen. Hansen’s announcement, released a statement, saying, “Dave has been a tireless voice for working families, students, and seniors not only in northeastern Wisconsin but all across the state. During his tenure in the legislature, he has been a passionate advocate for equal pay, affordable health care, and student loan debt relief. Dave is the true embodiment of our Democratic values and could always be relied on to deliver an enthusiastic and lively debate on the Senate floor.”

Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich says, “Senator Hansen is a great friend and mentor whose impact on my career can’t be overstated. He has taught me so much about public service and political involvement, but, most importantly, he showed me that it is possible to lead a life of real decency in politics. He is a great Senator, but he is a better man. Personally, and on behalf of the City of Green Bay, I thank Senator Hansen for his decades of service and leadership, and I wish him and Jane all the very best in their well-earned retirement together.”

“Being an elected official can be challenging and hectic at times and I know he is the strong leader he is today because of the love, support and guidance from his wife, Jane Hansen. A dedicated family man who is always eager to discuss UW-Green Bay’s athletic programs as well as his beloved Green Bay Packers, Dave has served his community and state well and I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”

He was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in 2000 and has served in various leadership roles including Majority Leader, Assistant Majority Leader, Assistant Minority Leader and Joint Finance Vice Chair. During his time in the legislature he has had 51 bills signed into law. As a graduate from Green Bay West High School and UW-Green Bay, Sen. Hansen has been a dedicated public servant for his community. His previous roles include working as a teacher, truck driver for Green Bay Department of Public Works, Brown County Supervisor, and chair of the Brown County Human Services Board.

“I’ve always tried to do my best and I hope the people I have had the privilege to serve believe I have had their best interests at heart and that I have done well by them.”

In December, Sen. Hansen turned 72.

“And as much as it has become a cliché in politics, I truly am retiring to spend more time with my family. I have no fears about my chances for reelection having survived an attempted recall in 2011 and winning handily in a district that Republicans told me they gerrymandered specifically to defeat me. I believe had I chosen to run again I would win.”

Sen. Hansen says it is important to him to spend more time with Jane and his family “at this stage of our lives.”

“I will miss the many friends I have made in the Legislature and state government just as I look forward to continuing the many friendships I have made back home as a state senator. It truly has been a privilege to represent what I consider to be the best place in the world, with the best people, to live and raise a family. It is an honor I will always carry with me.”