State Rep. Mark Honadel said he was honored to be elected to another term in the Assembly and looked forward to getting back to work in the state Legislature.
Honadel got 60 percent of the vote Tuesday against Democratic challenger Bill Kurtz in the race for the 21st Assembly district, which includes Oak Creek, South Milwaukee and a small portion of Franklin.
Kurtz, 60, is a former reporter who has also worked for several colleges. He was in his first run for public office.
It will be Honadel's fifth full term in the Assembly after winning a special election in 2003.
"As long you enjoy this job and want to get something done, it's an honor. No doubt about it," Honadel said Wednesday. "I never take this for granted, being in politics."
The 56-year-old welder and businessman said he looked at election results and found that, particularly in South Milwaukee, many people voted for both him and President Barack Obama.
He took those crossover votes as a tribute to his commitment to set politics aside and provide constituents good service.
"I'm a firm believer that if you don't get caught up in all the fluff and politics, and you just do the job well, people will continue to reward you," he said.
Honadel said mining legislation will be at the top of his agenda when the next session starts in January. He was a co-author of mining legislation proposed last session that was ultimately rejected. While opponents have voiced environmental and oversight concerns, a vibrant mining industry is important to help create jobs at local companies like Caterpillar, Honadel said.
"I just know that we can have clean, safe mining, protect our beautiful Wisconsin land, and get this done," Honadel said.
A closer look at Wisconsin's tax structure and finding more efficiencies in the state's regulatory processes are also priorities, he said.
Honadel noted that power of the state Senate flipped back to Republicans, giving the GOP both chambers of the Legislature and the governor's office.
That's just like it was after the last election in 2010, bringing the "conservative agenda back where we started," he said.