By Greg Janetka
MADISON, Wisconsin: Democrats got their first candidate for Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor this week as state Sen. John Lehman announced his intention to run for the statewide position rather than seek re-election.
Lehman has served the people of Racine in District 21 since defeating Van Wanggaard (R) in a recall election in June 2012. Lehman previously held the seat from 2007-2011, losing it to Wanggaard in the November 2010 election.
Following last year's Republican-led redistricting, District 21 became a much more conservative district, leaving Lehman little chance of re-election. In his announcement, however, Lehman said his decision was based on the fact that no other candidates were stepping up for Democrats. “There was no one else, as I talked to folks, running for lieutenant governor. I think [Democrats] have a really good chance in this November election.”
If another Democrat does declare in the race, Lehman would face a primary for the nomination in August. The nominee is then paired up with the party's gubernatorial candidate and they run on a shared ticket. Currently Mary Burke is the only declared Democratic contender for governor. However, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout is considering a bid as well.
On the Republican side, Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch are the presumptive nominees. Walker's name has been bandied about as a potential candidate for President in 2016, something that gained traction this week with his release of a book entitled, “Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge.” Although he emphatically stated it is "not a campaign book," he has not ruled out a presidential run and declined to pledge to serve a full four year term if re-elected. That possibility has focused more attention on the lieutenant governor, who would automatically take over the position.
- ↑ Badger Herald, "Sen. John Lehman announces run for lieutenant governor," November 19, 2013
- ↑ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Sen. John Lehman to run for lieutenant governor," November 18, 2013
- ↑ Wisconsin Public Radio, "State Sen. John Lehman Will Run For Lieutenant Governor," November 18, 2013
- ↑ Wisconsin State Journal, "Scott Walker says 'Unintimidated' is not a campaign book amid presidential run rumors," November 19, 2013