MADISON (WKOW) – Democratic Sen. Kathleen Vinehout will run for governor if there are enough signatures to trigger a recall election against Gov. Scott Walker.
This brings the number of Democratic candidates back up to two after Sen. Tim Cullen dropped out of the race last week.
Sen. Vinehout joins former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk as the only Democratic candidates so far.
That means voters would ultimately choose the candidate in a primary election.
"I am in the race and we're going to get started," Vinehout said. "We need to stop pitting labor against business and the private sector against the public sector."
Vinehout is one of the 14 Democratic senators who went to Illinois last year for three weeks to stop a vote on Walker's proposal to limit collective bargaining rights for most state workers.
Before getting into politics, Vinehout was a college teacher and a dairy farmer.
"What I'm hearing from people from all across the state is they want an opportunity to have a choice. They want to have an opportunity to have a primary," Vinehout said.
Right now the choice is between Kathleen or Kathleen.
Vinehout's challenger, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk gained support today from the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state's largest teachers union.
"We believed it was important to say to our members who we thought they should start lining up with, but everyone will make decisions along the way. That's what democracy is all about," said Mary Bell, president of WEAC.
Falk agreed when asked about her new Democratic competitor.
"We are all friends. We will elect a Democratic governor. I hope I'm the one," Falk said.
Instead of talking about Vinehout, Falk returned from campaigning across the state and targeted Gov. Walker.
"In every one of those communities, there was worry, concern that the largest cuts in education funding in our state's history that Gov. Walker did is hurting our children and grandchildren," Falk said.
Republicans say no matter which candidate Democrats nominate, Wisconsin families will stand with Walker.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin is calling Vinehout a "cheerleader for failed policies of the Doyle administration."
At this point, the state elections board is still checking recall petitions so there is no date set for a primary or general election.
MADISON (WKOW) -- State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) says she will run for governor if a recall election is ordered against Republican Governor Scott Walker.
Vinehout made the announcement Wednesday morning.
In a statement Vinehout says, "We need a fresh start and a new attitude in Wisconsin politics and government."
"We need a governor who will lead with self restraint; who will be clear and open about her intentions; who will respect Wisconsin's traditions of good government; who supports and takes pride in our schools; who values the skills workers bring to their jobs. We need a governor who wants to solve problems, not score political points," said Vinehout. "I pledge to be that kind of governor."
Vinehout joins former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk as an announced candidate. Several others have said they are considering a run, but even if no one does, a primary will be necessary.
Recall petitions are currently being verified and no date has been set for a primary or a general election.
Vinehout is one of the 14 Democratic state senators who fled the state to Illinois last year for three weeks in an attempt to stop a vote on Walker's proposal to curb public employee union rights. The 53-year-old Vinehout was first elected in 2006 and won re-election by 439 votes in 2010.