WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Local Democrats say they were surprised by Congressman Obey's announcement that he will not seek re-election in November 2010.
Area Democrats now look ahead to the huge hole the party will now look to fill.
Mike Moran, Chair of the Marathon County Democratic Party says there are a number of people that could successfully fill Obey's seat, although it will be difficult. He hopes Obey's successor is one with the same ideals that Dave Obey's represented for so many years.
Moran says, "Dave Obey has worked with I don't know how many presidents, has really been with this country and worked for issues important to him and to this district for 40 years and that experience and that influence is going to be missed and it's going to be difficult to fill that gap."
He says Obey's decision to not seek re-election leaves a huge hole in the community. Moran says Obey's legacy is one that we will remember for years to come.
Moran says, "I think Dave Obey will go down as one of our greatest legislators, representatives and those are tough shoes to fill for the next person and we're definitely going to miss him. I wish he could run again well into the future, but it is his decision and we're going to miss him."
Moran says Obey's accomplishments in the Wausau community are so numerous you can't simply talk about one. Between transportation, health care, jobs, and education he has truly been a leader in all aspects of politics.