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Janesville Democratic Sen. Tim Cullen won't seek re-election

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - One of the Wisconsin Senate's most moderate Democrats is leaving. 

Tim Cullen of Janesville said Thursday he would not run for re-election this fall.

The 69-year-old Cullen told reporters at the Capitol he wants to work with foundations he established to help high school students become interns in the Legislature -- and to help minority students be teachers someday. 

Cullen also wants to do more with non-profit groups. He said he could accomplish more outside of politics than inside. 

These days, Cullen says party leaders control everything, and the two parties refuse to compromise on most things. 

Last fall, when Democrats controlled the Senate for six months, Cullen developed an alternative mining bill -- of which most provisions never saw the light of day. Cullen also developed an alliance with moderate Senate Republican Dale Schultz of Richland Center.

Schultz's political future is also uncertain, as Assembly Republican Howard Marklein of Spring Green plans to run for Schultz's seat in next summer's GOP primary. 

Cullen represented far southern Wisconsin in the Senate from 1974 to 1987, when he became Republican Tommy Thompson's secretary for what was then the Department of Health and Social Services. 

Cullen re-joined the Senate in 2011. He was among 14 Senate Democrats who left the state in a failed effort to kill the GOP's public union bargaining limits. 

Cullen tried forging a compromise on the issue, but could do not do so.