MADISON (WKOW) -- Democratic state Sen. Tim Cullen will not seek the Democratic nomination for governor in the recall race against Gov. Scott Walker.
Cullen had been saying for months that he would run as a Democrat to challenge Gov. Scott Walker if a recall election is called. But at a press conference Wednesday, Cullen announced that he would not run for governor, saying he could not raise the money to compete with better-known opponents.
State Senator Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) offered the following remarks regarding his candidacy for Governor of Wisconsin:
I am announcing today that I am no longer seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor in the expected recall election of Governor Walker.
I want to begin by thanking all of the good people around this state that encouraged me to enter this race. I will be forever grateful for the confidence they expressed in me. While I continue to believe I would be a strong candidate in the general election, I have concluded that I cannot raise the $1 - $2 million necessary to deliver my message against at least three possible primary candidates who are far better known than I am, have access to financial resources above what I can raise, and have better statewide networks at this time. In short, "too uphill in too short of time."
All of the Democrats who have been mentioned as possible candidates are good people with solid Wisconsin values.
I am reenergized to focus my efforts as a State Senator on working for more bipartisanship and civility in the State Legislature and Wisconsin as a whole. Continuing to try to deliver that message in what will be the most angry, partisan race in Wisconsin history would have been impossible. Many people in this building love this political war, but the majority of the people outside of this building want no war, they want us to work together. As a State Senator, I intend to accomplish what I have concluded that the winner of this election will not be able to do.
I will continue to speak out on issues I believe in and when I believe Governor Walker is taking the state in the wrong direction. I hope that not being a candidate will add credibility to what I say. Following this bitter recall election – regardless of the outcome – several voices, including mine, must speak out to tone down the highest level of public anger I have seen in my adult lifetime. Angry people do not solve problems.
I came to Madison as a centrist and discovered that there was no center.
I will spend the rest of my time in Madison representing those who have no lobbyists themselves— the convenience store employee, the hairdresser, the factory worker with no union, the self-employed lawn care worker, the waitress who, by Wisconsin law, does not earn minimum wage.
While this decision was not easy, I find that my efforts are better spent serving the people of Wisconsin in the State Senate than fulfilling a new role as a full-time candidate. I look forward to working in the State Legislature to bridge the partisan divide in the name of helping Wisconsin's recovery.
Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk is the only person to announce that she will run against Walker.
Falk released this statement Wednesday:
"Sen. Cullen has a long record of principled service to the people of Wisconsin," said Falk. "I look forward to working with him and the more than one million people who have signed the recall petitions against Gov. Walker so that together we can restore openness, transparency and accountability and undo the damage Gov. Walker has done to the people of Wisconsin."
Cullen is a Democrat from Janesville who has been in the Senate since 2010. The 67-year-old also served in the Senate from 1974 to 1986. He also served as secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services under Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson.