Rep. Larry Balow (D-Eau Claire) says he will not run for a 4th term in the State Assembly.
Balow is a retired firefighter who was first elected to the legislature in 1998 after serving two terms on the Eau Claire City Council. He says he wants to spend more time traveling and working on his hobby of restoring old vehicles.
"That 360 miles round-trip back and forth to Madison after six years, sleeping in a motel down there three nights a week really started to get old," Balow said. "So I'm kind of excited about moving on. I'll miss the job and I'll miss the contact with people."
Balow says he'll miss working with other Chippewa Valley legislators including Republicans like Rep. Rob Kreibich and Sen. Dave Zien with whom Balow had a well-publicized spat late last year. Balow says the local delegation sets aside partisanship in many cases to work for the good of the area.
Balow won his seat in a bitterly contested battle with first-term Republican Chuck Schafer. He defeated Eau Claire county board chairman Howard Ludwigson in 2000 and business owner Terry Moulton in 2002. Moulton announced on Tuesday he would make a second attempt at winning the seat in the 68th district which straddles the Chippewa-Eau Claire county line.