Vinehout takes formal step to possible governor's run - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Vinehout takes formal step to possible governor's run

MADISON (WKOW) -- Democratic state Senator Kathleen Vinehout modified her campaign registration statement with the Government Accountability Board to indicate her intention to run for governor.

Vinehout told 27 News a campaign announcement may come next week.

The registration change allows for fundraising towards what's expected to be a recall election of Governor Scott Walker.

Vinehout (D-Alma) would join announced candidate Kathleen Falk, and her entrance would guarantee a Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Vinehout's Democratic senate colleague Sen. Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) announced Wednesday he was forgoing a planned run in a recall, citing fundraising challenges. Vinehout told 27 News Walker's expected significant fundraising edge would not keep her out of the race.

"A million signatures on recall seems as if there is something that may prove to be more powerful than the power of money in a political campaign, and that is the power of public engagement."

Walker's campaign has more than $2 million on hand; Falk, more than $200,000; Vinehout, $20,000. 

For some Democrats, Vinehout's expected candidacy signaled revisiting Vinehout's alignment with Republicans four years ago in allowing pharmacists to choose to refrain from dispensing birth control to customers on conscience-grounds.

Rep. Kelda Helen Roys was a representative of a pro-choice group at the time and chastised Vinehout's stance as a broken campaign pledge to women. Roys told 27 News she stands by that sentiment. "I think every woman has the right to access birth control at her local pharmacy. I will say it is very important for voters across the political spectrum to make sure our candidates support women's right to contraceptives."

Vinehout said she worked with both Republicans and Democrats on the compromise of allowing conscientious objection by pharmacists, but requiring pharmacies to make sure someone would dispense birth control prescriptions.

Vinehout was one fourteen senators who went to Illinois for more than two weeks to avoid voting on Walker's proposed limits on public union collective bargaining.


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