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Vinehout declines to run for governor

MADISON - State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) confirmed this morning that she will not run for Wisconsin governor.  

It gives Democrat Mary Burke a clear path to challenge Republican Scott Walker in November,  something party leaders were hoping for, so she wouldn't have to use up her cash in a primary battle and deplete her resources against the well-funded Walker.  

Burke, a former state Commerce Secretary and Trek Bicycle executive, announced her candidacy in October. 

Vinehout said she needs time to recover from a splintered bone in her upper right arm.  She injured it last month in a snow-related traffic crash in Racine County, where she was testing the waters for a possible gubernatorial bid.  Vinehout said the severity of the injury made it quote, "impossible to mount a grassroots campaign."  She thanked those who offered support.  And she wished for success to Mary Burke and quote, "others who may offer their time and talents in leading our state."  

Vinehout reportedly told Madison teachers' union chief John Matthews of her decision yesterday.  He e-mailed other activists, and newspapers in Madison and Milwaukee picked it up.  Vinehout issued her own comments in an overnight e-mail to supporters and media.  She ran and lost for governor in 2012 in the Democratic primary for the Walker recall election.  

Vinehout is up for re-election to the state Senate this year.