MADISON, Wis. -

Former Republican state Sen. Neal Kedzie who resigned last week will be taking over as president of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association starting in July.

The trade group representing truck and bus companies announced Kedzie's hiring on Tuesday. Kedzie is taking over for Tom Howells, who is retiring after 35 years as president of the group that has more than 1,000 members.

Kedzie, of Elkhorn, was first elected to the Senate in 2002 after serving four years in the Assembly. His 11th Senate District includes portions of Jefferson, Waukesha, Rock, Walworth and Kenosha counties.

Republican state Rep. Steve Nass and Democrat Dan Kilkenny are running for the seat.

Kedzie says growing a strong economy is dependent on having a vibrant trucking industry and he looks forward to his new job.