Outgoing Wisconsin US Senator Herb Kohl thanked his colleagues, his staff and his constituents during a farewell speech on the Senate floor this morning.
Kohl thanked the people of Wisconsin for taking a chance on him in his first election 24 years ago and re-electing him three more times.
"Thank you for letting me pay back in part the great debt my family owes to the state that took in my immigrant mother and father and allowed our family to grow and thrive," he says.
Kohl called the members of the Senate "thoughtful, hardworking patriots." Kohl called his staff "bright" and "dedicated", comparing them to family.
"You cannot be a cynic about the future of this country when you work in an office like mine and have the privilege to interact with generations of intelligent, civic-minded and loyal staffers," he says.
Kohl was first elected in 1988, filling the seat vacated by the retiring Democratic Senator William Proxmire. He'll be replaced in the Senate next year by Democrat Tammy Baldwin.