Milwaukee attorney and former Democratic Party of Wisconsin chairman Matt Flynn will run for governor, he announced on Tuesday.
Flynn, 70, joins a growing field of Democrats seeking to challenge Gov. Scott Walker in 2018.
"I'm running because I can't stand by and watch our democracy destroyed," Flynn said in an announcement video.
Flynn said President Donald Trump is "corrupting our government, dividing our country and pitting Americans against Americans" and Walker is "destroying the Wisconsin way."
Flynn pledged to stand up to "big, Republican, corporate donors" and criticized the state's deal with Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn. The company will receive $3 billion in tax incentives — the largest subsidy to a foreign company in U.S. history — in exchange for building a $10 billion plant and employing up to 13,000 workers in Mount Pleasant.
A retired commercial litigation partner with Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee, Flynn served as chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin from 1981 to 1985. He mounted several unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, co-chaired John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign in Wisconsin and served on Hillary Clinton's finance committee during her 2008 presidential campaign.
In his video, Flynn pledged to focus on fair wages, road improvements, open government and water quality.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin was critical of Flynn's career as an attorney.
"Matt Flynn is a dirty defense attorney who has built a career on defending special interests and those who prey on Wisconsin families," said RPW spokesman Alec Zimmerman in a statement. "While Governor Walker has fought to return power to hard-working Wisconsinites, Matt Flynn has fought to cover up the crimes committed against those who are most vulnerable."
Flynn joins Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik, Eau Claire state Rep. Dana Wachs, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, Alma state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout and political activist Mike McCabe in the Democratic field.