Wisconsin Gov. Candidate Bows Out of Primary

Friday, 17 Jan 2014 12:54 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Wisconsin state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout announced she will not challenge incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker due to injuries she sustained from a car accident in early December, leaving Mary Burke as the only Democratic candidate to run in the gubernatorial election.

It also means Burke will likely not have to run in a Democratic primary — meaning she can focus her energy on the gubernatorial campaign against Walker, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

An official statement was released by Vinehout in an email Friday morning after rumors circulated Thursday night throughout the Madison teachers union, according to the Sentinel.

"After careful consideration I have decided not to run for Governor this year," Vinehout, a Democrat, said in the statement. "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 wish success to Mary Burke and others who may offer their time and talents in leading our state," she concluded.

Burke is a Madison school board member and was considered the top contender against Walker before Vinehout bowed out of the race.

An October poll showed Walker leading Burke 47 percent to 45 percent, which is still within the margin of error.

Vinehout was in a car accident on Dec. 8 on I-94 in Racine County, Wisconsin, during a heavy snowfall. To fix her broken arm, Vinehout had reconstructive surgery that lasted eight hours. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the Wisconsin legislator was not wearing a seatbelt during at the time of the crash.

Vinehout ran in the Wisconsin gubernatorial Democratic primary in 2012 to run against Walker in the recall election in the same year, which she did not win.

In December 2013, Vinehout called Walker a spender and borrower, arguing that the budget grew under the Wisconsin governor more than it should have during his first term.

However, Politifact pointed out that the Wisconsin budget increased due to Medicaid costs, not as a result of Walker's spending projects.

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