Sen. Herb Kohl reflects on 23 years in the Senate - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Sen. Herb Kohl reflects on 23 years in the Senate

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ROTHSCHILD (WAOW) -- Senator Herb Kohl is beginning his final year in office. The Democrat has served in the Senate for almost 24 years.

"I've been very fortunate to represent the people of Wisconsin, all of them, regardless of party," said Kohl.

Herb Kohl was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1988. He ran on a simple slogan: "Nobody's Senator But Yours."

"I've always attempted to be receptive and open, available to people who are legitimate, regardless of what their political feelings may be," said Kohl.

In an interview with Newsline 9, Kohl reflected on his time in office.

"I've been a senator who's been very focused not just on our large communities in the state, but smaller communities," said Kohl.

Many small communities in the state rely on farming. That's an industry Kohl says he's tried to strengthen.

"I've worked really hard to help the rural economy, the dairy industry, cattle industry," said Kohl. "We've done quite a few things to help. So I'm really, I feel proud of that."

But Kohl says he does have some regrets.

"I wish we had a balanced budget, we need to have that. I wish our economy were stronger," said Kohl.

And the country has plenty of other problems. But, in trying to solve them, Kohl says he's learned something important.

"There are no final answers," said Kohl. "Nobody has all the answers, no one party has all the answers."

Right now, three Republicans and one Democrat are vying to replace Kohl. For whomever wins—from whichever party—Kohl has some advice.

"Be open minded, don't be partisan," said Kohl. "Look to serve everybody in our state regardless of what their political affiliation may be."

As for Kohl, he says he's looking forward to life beyond the Senate. And he says he'll miss one thing in particular.

"I'm going to miss the opportunity to get around the state as I have and be able to talk to people from every walk of life," said Kohl.

Kohl has plenty of options for retirement. He's worth an estimated $173 million. But he says he'll try to find some way to continue serving Wisconsin.

Online Reporter: Daniel Woodruff

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