State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, a darling among Wisconsin progressives who mounted a brief run for governor in 2014, spent much of this weekend’s Democratic Party of Wisconsin convention chatting up delegates, asking if they thought she should run again in 2018.
The answer, said Vinehout, D-Alma, was clear.
“Pretty unanimously around here, they want me to run,” she told the Wisconsin State Journal Saturday.
But Vinehout said it’s too early to say if she’ll join the race. She’ll decide in early 2017, she said.
“I’m still doing my research,” Vinehout said.
Vinehout’s 2014 bid ended prematurely when she sustained serious injuries in a car accident, causing her to bow out.
Her populist tone and electoral success in her western Wisconsin district have caused some Democrats to view Vinehout as a candidate who can compete in areas outside of Madison and Milwaukee — much of which is swing territory in a statewide election.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker has hinted he’s leaning toward seeking a third term in 2018.
Vinehout said Saturday that Walker’s plans won’t influence her own.
At this early stage, Vinehout is one of many Democrats thinking about a possible run for governor.
Other Democrats cited by party operatives as possible candidates include state Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca of Kenosha, Exact Sciences CEO Kevin Conroy, Congressman Ron Kind of La Crosse, Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser, state Rep. Cory Mason of Racine, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, state Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling of La Crosse and state Rep. Dana Wachs of Eau Claire.