Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner says he won't seek re-election next year after serving four decades in Congress. 

The Menomonee Falls Republican's decision comes soon after another GOP House member from Wisconsin, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, announced he is stepping down later this month

Sensenbrenner's decision will open the door for a crowded primary race in the solidly Republican Milwaukee-area 5th Congressional District. 

The dean of the Wisconsin congressional delegation, Sensenbrenner, 76, previously served in the state Legislature before first getting elected to Congress in 1978

"When I began my public service in 1968, I said I would know when it was time to step back," he said in a statement Wednesday. "After careful consideration, I have determined at the completion of this term, my 21st term in Congress, it will be that time." 

He added: “I think I am leaving this district, our Republican Party, and most important, our country, in a better place than when I began my service."

Sensenbrenner's decision to retire comes after he had hip replacement surgery in January. At least a dozen other House GOP members have opted not to run for re-election next year, according to a report in The Atlantic Wednesday morning.

Possible GOP contenders for the seat include Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow and former U.S. Senate candidates Leah Vukmir and Kevin Nicholson, among others. 

The Cook Political Report's 2020 House rankings rate the seat as plus-13 Republican.  

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