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Some lawmakers spend very little time in-district

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Retiring House Republican Tom Petri only spent about half as much time in his home district last year as most of Wisconsin's other congressional members. The Gannett News Service found that the 36-year veteran from Fond du Lac spent 95 days in the Badger State, of a possible 265 in which lawmakers were not required to be in Washington.

Gannett says the home visits are a key element of staying in touch with the people they serve. Fourth-year House Republican Sean Duffy of Wausau spent 86-percent of his available free days in his sprawling north central Wisconsin district. The report says family roots are the big difference between Petri and Duffy. Petri married a Washington lawyer and raised his family there, while voting absentee in Wisconsin more often than he does back home. Duffy moved from Ashland to Weston in his first term to make it easier to fly in-and-out of his home district. Last year, he bought a house in Wausau where his seven kids are being raised.

La Crosse Democrat Ron Kind spent 85-percent of his off-time back home.

Janesville House Republican Paul Ryan managed to get home 82-percent of his maximum. That's despite the fact that Ryan has extra duties as the chairman of the House Budget committee, and he's maintaining a national profile as a possible presidential candidate in 2016.

Gannett said both of Wisconsin's U-S senators -- Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin -- spent around 70-percent of their possible off days in their home state.