Ron Kind has officially announced he has no intentions to run for governor next year:
In a conference call Thursday, the La Crosse Democrat cited his work in the U.S. House on health care reform as his reason for deciding to stay in Washington.
“My job is to stay focused on the health care reform that’s pending so that we deliver affordable, quality, accessible health care for all Wisconsin families,” he said. “I’ve got a primary responsibility to do this job well.”
Predictably, there’s nothing particularly interesting in what Kind has to say about the decision. I found the Journal-Sentinel’s article on the matter slightly too deferential to Kind’s talking points “Kind to stay in Congress to work on health care.” However, he did cite his commitment to health care as the overarching reason for him to stay in the House, which made his statement slightly less formulaic than the usual reasons.
However, no analysis in the media has emerged that looks into the pragmatic reasons Kind may have stepped out. For instance, only a small fraction of the money in his war chest could be used to fund a campaign for state office. Considering this, Herb Kohl’s senate seat may be a much more realistic target for Kind, financially as well as politically. The governor’s race would not only feature a daunting primary against at least Barbara Lawton, but a general election in which voters are hostile to the Democratic incumbent and may opt to hand power over to the GOP. Kohl on the other hand is a relatively popular guy who voters may be more interested in replacing with a Democrat.
The person the most unhappy about this decision is without a doubt State Sen. Dan Kapanke, Kind’s apparent Republican challenger in next year’s Congressional election. The western district could have been competitive had Kind left for the governor’s race, however, with ten terms behind him, no Republican has a glimmer of hope unseating the incumbent.