- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

NEENAH, Wis. (AP) - Neenah’s newly elected mayor says he’s leaning toward finishing his term in the state Assembly that ends in January.

Republican Rep. Dean Kaufert defeated three-term incumbent George Scherck in Tuesday’s election, according to results that have not yet been certified, to become mayor of the Fox Valley city of about 25,000. Kaufert, 56, said he won’t seek re-election to the state Assembly in November.

“I think voters were looking for something a little bit different,” Kaufert said. “I talked about not doing a 180, but just a little bit different perspective, and the people bought that message.”

Still, Kaufert said he had two speeches prepared Tuesday night, Post-Crescent Media (https://post.cr/1ksCLan) reported.

“I felt good going into the election,” he said. “I felt better than in most of my elections, but you never know going against a well-known, well-liked incumbent.”

Kaufert has served as a state representative since 1990, including a stint as co-chairman of the powerful Joint Finance Committee. He crossed party lines in 2011 and voted against Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to strip most public workers of nearly all their union rights.

He becomes the 15th Assembly member who will not seek re-election this fall, including 10 Republicans and five Democrats. Two years ago, 19 Assembly members did not seek re-election. In 2010, 20 members did not run again.

Kaufert said he will use his business and legislative experience to bring companies and jobs to Neenah. Kaufert owns Under the Dome Sports Bar & Grill and All-Sport Trophy & Engraving in Neenah.

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Information from: Post-Crescent Media, https://www.postcrescent.com

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