Senator Vinehout Releases Statement

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ALMA, Wis. (WEAU) -- Senator Kathleen Vinehout released the following statement on Friday:

“After careful consideration I have decided not to run for Governor this year.”

“The severity of the injury received in the car accident last month -- a splintering of the bone in my upper right arm – and the time required to recover and rehabilitate make it impossible for me to run the intense, grass roots campaign that I want to run and would be necessary to win.”

“I have many thanks to give to all the individuals across the state who have encouraged me to run and offered their support in countless ways. I will continue to work supporting the grassroots efforts of so many. The vision we share for our state and our communities will not fade.

“I wish success to Mary Burke and others who may offer their time and talents in leading our state.”


EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The battle to be Wisconsin's next governor appears to have a playing field that is beginning to narrow.

Eau Claire County Democratic Spokesperson Beverly Wickstrom told WEAU 13 News on Thursday night it is her understanding that State Senator Kathleen Vinehout will not run for governor.

"I think she does a very good job representing us in the senate, she would have done that in the governor's house," she said.

Wickstrom could not provide specifics about what drove the senator's decision but mentioned her recent car accident.

"Even if with Kathleen deciding due to her injuries that would not be a possibility for her at this point, we still have a strong candidate," she added.

Vinehout ran for governor during the Recall Election but lost in the primary.

UW-Eau Claire Political Science Professor Rodd Freitag says there is an advantage to knowing who a party's candidate is this early on.

He says it is getting too late for anyone else to toss their hat into the ring.

"I think the advantage for democrats is they can focus attention on running against the governor for the entire year; they won't have that internal battle to fight and they can save their money and resources," Freitag said.

He says republicans have an advantage as well.

"It also gives them an advantage because they know who their likely opponent is going to be -- they don't have to spend their whole time preparing for a contest against multiple people," he added.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) --The chair of the Eau Claire County Democratic Party says it's her understanding that Democratic Senator Kathleen Vinehout of Alma will not run for governor.

Beverly Wickstrom told WEAU 13 News reporter Kevin Hurd on Thursday night. She believes more information will be released on Friday. Wickstrom said that she would let Vinehout explain why she made the decision. Messages left for Vinehout seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Vinehout had been mulling over a possible run for governor since late last year. In December 2013, Vinehout said she had hired a campaign organizer, but did not declare her candidacy. Vinehout ran for governor in 2012, but finished third in a primary election.