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Rep. Gordon Hintz during the 2019 state budget address at the state Capitol. After more than four years in the position, Assembly Minority Leader Hintz, D-Oshkosh, announced he will step down from the role on Jan. 10, 2022.

After more than four years in the position, Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, announced on Monday he will step down from the role on Jan. 10, 2022.

"I have been humbled and honored to lead the Assembly Democrats for the past four-plus years, but I want to have more time for my district and my family, which includes two children under the age of five," Hintz said in a statement.

Hintz, 48, has represented his hometown in the Assembly since 2007. He was chosen by his Democratic colleagues to lead them after former state Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, stepped down in 2017, after six years in the leadership role.

When he sought reelection in 2020, Hintz said, he was committed to serving as Democratic leader through the 2021 state budget and redistricting processes. In his announcement, Hintz said he has "even more confidence and optimism about the future of the Assembly Democrats" than he did four years ago, adding that he is "immensely proud of Assembly Democrats’ accomplishments."

"We have been innovative and effective in articulating our message. We led the successful effort to hold Gov. Walker accountable for the Foxconn debacle, unaccountable tax giveaways, and record debt borrowing to pay for our roads — leading to his defeat in 2018," Hintz said. "We have upheld Gov. Evers’ vetoes on every single attempt. We have continuously fought back against extreme efforts by Republicans to divide our state and to undermine our democracy. And in the last two election cycles, Assembly Democrats have picked up seats and returned every single incumbent, despite the most gerrymandered maps in American history."

Assembly Assistant Minority Leader Dianne Hesselbein, D-Middleton, praised Hintz's "wit and smarts" as an asset to the Democratic caucus.

"Rep. Hintz exemplifies the qualities of a leader that are not often displayed in legislative politics," Hesselbein said in a statement. "My colleague has an unending sense of humor that can disarm even the staunchest ideological adversaries. Rep. Hintz’s ability to craft a quality floor strategy that delivered for the people of our state was second to none."

Hintz took on the leadership role following the 2016 election, which gave Republicans a 64-35 majority in the Assembly — the largest edge they'd had since 1957. Republicans now hold a 61-38 majority.

As of Monday afternoon, no Democrats had yet announced intentions to run for the leadership position. In addition to Hesselbein, the current caucus leadership team includes Reps. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, and Lisa Subeck, D-Madison.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said in a statement that he has enjoyed working with Hintz over the last four years.

"While we don’t agree on policy we certainly share a love for the state of Wisconsin and a desire to see growth and prosperity for all the people that make it such a great place," Vos said. "Serving in a leadership position demands a significant amount of time and I respect his decision to focus on his family. I wish him the best of luck and look forward to continuing to work with him in the Assembly."

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