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Kind won't run for governor

Saying he intends to stay in Congress and focus on getting health care reform done right, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind announced he won't be a candidate for governor of Wisconsin.

"I'm in the middle of these intense negotiations right now," said Kind, a Democrat, during a phone conference Thursday afternoon. He said his first responsibility is to get affordable and accessible health care reform passed this year, and he can't let a campaign divert him.

"It really comes down to staying focused on the job I have right now," said Kind.

He deflected a question about his personal long-term hopes for a congressional leadership role by saying his "long-term plan is to make sure that health care reform gets done the right way, not the wrong way."

Gov. Jim Doyle announced in August he won't seek a third term. Since then, said Kind, people from around Wisconsin have encouraged him to run.

But, said the congressman, he must stay on the job in Washington.

"In Wisconsin, 230 people lose their health care coverage every day; 57,000 people in Western Wisconsin do not have health insurance at all," said Kind. "Reducing the cost and increasing the accessibility of health care is critical for every Wisconsin family. My work on the health care debate cannot get done from the campaign trail."

For more please read the Sept. 30 print version of the Herald.