UPDATE: Sen. Vinehout decides not to run for governor - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: More reaction to Vinehout's decision on governor's race

Posted: Updated: Jan 17, 2014 03:40 PM

MADISON (WKOW) -- State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout opted out of a possible run for governor Friday morning.

Vinehout, who broke her arm in a car crash last month, said in a statement, "the severity of the injury received in the car accident ... 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."

Vinehout's decision now leaves former Trek Bicycle executive Mary Burke as the lone, Democratic candidate.

Burke also served as Commerce Secretary under Democratic Governor Jim Doyle.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Burke said "Kathleen will continue to play a leading role in the ongoing conversation about the direction of our great state,"

"I am looking forward to working with her between now and November, and beyond," the statement said.

Barry Burden, a professor of political science at the UW-Madison said Vinehout's decision means all roads now point to Burke for Republican Governor Scott Walker.

"It certainly crystallizes what the general election will be," Burden said.

Burden said it remains to be seen whether the lack of a primary, should no more democratic candidates enter the race, would mean for Burke.

"Burke faces more challenges in raising money so a primary might drain her accounts," Burden said.

But he added a primary could also help Burke.

"It gives her preparation, organization, being in debates, talking to the media," he said, "doing all the things she hasn't done a lot of over the last few years."

Wisconsin GOP Executive Director Joe Fadness said he believes the Democratic establishment pushed Vinehout out of the race.

But he said the Governor's message remains the same regardless of his November opponent.

"We have a vision right now of whether the people of Wisconsin want to keep moving forward with Governor Walker, as they've done, or whether they want to go backwards," Fadness said.

Here is Vinehout's full statement on Friday's decision:

"After careful consideration I have decided not to run for Governor this year. 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 have many thanks to give to all the individuals across the state who have encouraged me to run and offered their support in countless ways. I will continue to work supporting the grassroots efforts of so many. The vision we share for our state and our communities will not fade. I wish success to Mary Burke and others who may offer their time and talents in leading our state."

*****

MADISON (WKOW) -- Democrat Mary Burke released a statement today regarding the news of State Senator Kathleen Vinehout's announcement she was withdrawing from the race for governor.

 "I know that Kathleen will continue to play a leading role in the ongoing conversation about the direction of our great state and I am looking forward to working with her between now and November, and beyond.  Her passion, ideas, and leadership make Wisconsin stronger.  I wish her a speedy and full recovery." - Mary Burke 

*****

MADISON (WKOW) -- State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) has withdrawn her name from the race for governor.

Early Friday morning, Vinehout released a statement saying that the severity of the injury she received in a car accident last month and the time she needs to fully recover will make it impossible to run the intense grassroots campaign she would want to run.

Vinehout never officially declared, but she did hire a statewide campaign organizer in December.

In the statement, Vinehout thanks everyone who encouraged her to run and offered her their support. She also wished success to fellow Democrat Mary Burke.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Multiple sources have now confirmed that State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) will not run for governor.

The leader of the Eau Claire County Democratic Party confirmed to our affiliate in Eau Claire, WQOW, that Vinehout will not run.

Additionally, an email sent to members of Madison Teachers Inc. by executive director John Matthews says Vinehout called to advise the union she will not be running. The email was obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal.

Earlier, The Progressive cited several sources close to the senator when it reported that Vinehout would not be in the race.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) will not run for governor, according to The Progressive.

The editor of the Madison publication cites several sources close to the senator.

The report says Vinehout will hold a news conference on her decision on Friday.

Speculation about a potential gubernatorial run surrounded Vinehout for months. It ramped up in December of 2013, when Vinehout hired someone to organize a statewide campaign. Days later, Vinehout discussed a potential run with Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann in an interview on Capitol City Sunday.

Senator Vinehout ran for governor during the recall race in 2012, but lost the Democratic nomination to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Former Trek Bicycle executive Mary Burke is the only Democrat currently running for governor.

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