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Sheboygan businessman, Cross Plains salon owner, former lawmaker say they may seek Democratic governor nod

Sheboygan businessman, Cross Plains salon owner, former lawmaker say they may seek Democratic governor nod

From the 2018 Wisconsin governor's race series

The potential 2018 field of Democratic candidates for governor continues to grow, with three more announcing their presence in recent days.

Kurt Kober, 39, a political newcomer and businessman from Sheboygan, said that he’s considering a governor bid.

Michele Doolan, a small business owner from Cross Plains, also recently signaled plans to run.

Both have taken the initial step of filing with the state Ethics Commission to create a campaign committee.

Former state lawmaker Kelda Helen Roys of Madison also said she’s considering a run, in an interview with The Capital Times.

Kober said he’s a retail strategy director with The Clorox Company and board member of the Sheboygan Public Education Foundation.

Kober said he began to think about running for office after the 2016 election, the results of which he dubbed “a wake-up call.” He said his past political involvement includes being a former College Democrats of Wisconsin president and volunteering for the 2008 Barack Obama campaign.

Kober said he plans to make a final decision in coming months about whether to run. If he does, Kober said his campaign would be about preparing Wisconsin for technological and economic change.

“I am looking to lean into what the future looks like,” Kober said. “That’s a different kind of conversation than what we’ve been hearing so far.”

Doolan, 43, a political newcomer and hair salon owner, is president of the Park Elementary PTO in Cross Plains. She said she’s running to bridge what she described as a disconnect between regular people and their elected officials.

“I have no agenda other than I really want to make a difference,” Doolan said.

Roys, 38, told The Capital Times that Democrats must “articulate a positive vision for the future of our state” to appeal to Democrats and those who feel they aren’t a part of the political process.

State Rep. Dana Wachs of Eau Claire, Milwaukee-area businessman Andy Gronik and Barneveld political newcomer Bob Harlow have said they’re officially seeking the Democratic nomination for governor.

Other Democrats who have registered campaign committees but haven’t formalized a run include state Superintendent Tony Evers, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, former state Rep. Brett Hulsey and political activist Mike McCabe.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin also has said he’s considering a Democratic run.

Second-term Republican Gov. Scott Walker is widely expected to announce soon that he will seek a third term.

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