Longtime state representative Mike Madden, a Republican from Buffalo, announced Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in November. Madden has served as chairman of the powerful House Revenue Committee since 2013, where he showed more openness than many lawmakers to exploring new taxes.
A former economics professor in South Dakota, Madden occasionally caught flak for his positions on revenue issues. But Madden often held out potential measures for discussion, despite not supporting them personally. He also took a conservative stance on spending down Wyoming’s rainy day fund.
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“(I)t has personally been a difficult decision to step down from the legislature,” Madden said in a statement. “(B)ut part of a legislator’s job is to know when the time is right to let others lead.”
Madden said in the statement that he was the third-most senior representative in the House.
Johnson County Commission Chairman and GOP consultant Bill Novotny said that the field of candidates vying to replace Madden would likely shape up in the next week or two.
“Everyone was giving time to let him make his decision,” Novotny said.
Novotny said he got to know Madden as part of his work for the state county commissioners group.
“Didn’t always agree with all the taxes he pursued, but I appreciated his willingness to put all the options on the table,” Novotny said.
In recent years, Madden pursued tax increases that he felt were logical and overdue. For example, in 2016 he sponsored a tobacco tax increase meant to bring the current tax in line with inflation after over a decade with the rate staying flat. It failed.
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In his statement, Madden said he was proud of his work improving Wyoming schools and “local communities,” as well as funding work on state highways.
In addition to the revenue committee, Madden served as chairman of the Select Committee on Capital Finance and Investment and the Legislative Management Audit Committee.