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Evers defeats Fernandez 
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West Bend School Board splits difference with referendum 
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to Waukesha School Board
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New face breaks in to Oconomowoc board
Miller wins second term on Oconomowoc council
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Newcomers oust town of Summit supervisor
Incumbent wins in town of Oconomowoc
Town of Waukesha chairman, supervisors re-elected
Michalek wins chairman seat 
in the town of Vernon
Kumershek elected new Vernon clerk





US Rep. Kind not running 
for governor


September 25, 2009


U.S. Rep. Ron Kind


MADISON - U.S. Rep. Ron Kind announced Thursday that he will not seek the Democratic nomination for governor next year and instead intends to run for re-election for Congress.

The move gives Democrats a much better chance at retaining his western Wisconsin congressional seat, and it puts the spotlight back on whether Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will enter the governor's race.

Barrett is riding a wave of national exposure after being assaulted on Aug. 15 when he intervened in a domestic dispute outside the Wisconsin State Fair. Barrett was beaten by a 20-year-old man with a tire iron and may suffer permanent damage to his right hand.

Barrett's campaign office did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages seeking comment Thursday. Barrett said in August that he didn't plan to make a decision on running for at least a month.

The state Republican Party sent an e-mail message on Thursday morning showing that the Web site domain name http://www.barrett2010.org/ had been reserved through the site www.campaigncontrolcenter.com. Barrett, who has been mayor of Milwaukee since 2004, is not up for re-election to that post until 2012. He previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1992 to 2002.

Barrett and Kind served together and it was widely rumored within Democratic circles that they did not want to run against one another for governor. Kind said he and Barrett are making their decisions about whether to run for governor independent of one another.

"He has a decision to make and when he makes it I'm sure we'll have subsequent conversation at that point," Kind said in a conference call.

In a subsequent interview with The Associated Press, Kind said if he had entered the race he would have won.

"I think I could have given the outpouring of support I received," he said.

Kind had been making the rounds across Wisconsin in recent weeks meeting with Democratic Party leaders and others to discuss a potential run. Kind said not running was a hard decision but he wanted to remain in Congress next year fighting for health care reform.

"My work on the health care debate cannot get done from the campaign trail," he said in a statement.

He has served the state's western 3rd District since 1996. Republican state Sen. Dan Kapanke is running for the seat.

Kapanke issued a statement saying Kind's decision means voters will have a clear choice in who to elect to Congress next year.

Kind's decision will ease some worries for national Democrats. Though his southwestern Wisconsin district is generally Democratic leaning, some party officials worried that it would become vulnerable to a Republican takeover if their were an open race in the current environment. Kind, who won in 2008 with 63 percent of the vote, is viewed as a strong favorite to hold on to the House seat he has held since 1997.

Kind said his decision was not influenced by national party leaders wanting him to stay and defend his congressional seat.

"This wasn't about politics, it wasn't about a safe seat or not a safe seat," Kind said. "This was a personal decision that I had to make with my family."

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Tom Erickson issued a statement saying by not running for governor Kind had "settled on his second choice" and now voters could hold him accountable for the federal stimulus package and the Democrats' health care overhaul plan.

While Kind would have had to give up his congressional seat, Barrett is midterm and wouldn't have to worry about being out of office should he run for governor and lose.

The governor's race is wide open in 2010 for the first time in 28 years since incumbent Gov. Jim Doyle decided against seeking a third term.

The only announced Democratic candidate for governor currently is Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton. Lawton praised Kind, saying she respected his service as a congressman and the decision he made.

Mike Tate, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, said he expects more Democrats to announce they are running within the next four weeks.

Republicans already in the race include Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann.

Walker, the Milwaukee County executive since 2002, raised more than $1 million through June 30. Neumann, a real estate developer and home builder in the Milwaukee area, entered the race in July and hasn't had to report his fundraising totals yet. He served in Congress between 1995 and 1999.


Associated Press


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