Democratic US Rep. Ron Kind not running for Wisconsin governor

Rep. Ron Kind

MADISON — Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind tells The Associated Press he will not run for Wisconsin governor in 2018.

Kind’s decision Friday ends months of speculation about what the western Wisconsin congressman from La Crosse would do next year. Instead of potentially challenging Republican Gov. Scott Walker, Kind says he will focus on his work in Congress and running for re-election. He’s held the seat since 1997.

Kind was the highest profile Democrat mulling a run against Walker should he seek a third term.

Other Democrats considering a run include former state Sen. Tim Cullen, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, of Alma, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, state Rep. Dana Wachs, of Eau Claire, and Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ.