FOX47 NEWS - Doyle Won't Run For Third Term
Unnamed sources broke the news that Jim Doyle is opting not to run for a third term as governor.
Doyle hasn't confirmed anything yet, but he has scheduled a news conference Monday at 11 a.m. at Madison's Randall Elementary School to make a special announcement.
If Doyle decides not to run, it leaves the race for governor wide open, something the state hasn't seen in almost 30 years.
Republican leaders say the writing is on the wall for democratic Governor Jim Doyle.
"[Doyle] borrowed money in this state for years," said Reince Priebus, state republican party chairman. "Now, it's catching up with him. Soon we'll be talking about a budget repair bill because the democrats and this governor didn't do a very good job of balancing this budget."
Priebus spoke on "Upfront with Mike Gousha" Sunday, and said if Doyle runs for a third term, voters would hold him accountable for Wisconsin's economic woes.
In a recent poll by Public Policy Polling, 60 percent of voters said they disapproved of Doyle's work, leaving republicans a chance to win back the states highest office.
Two men have officially declared their candidacies -- Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and former congressman Mark Neumann.
On the democratic side, at least four names have floated as possible candidates -- Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
"Voters aren't stupid," said Matt Flynn, former state democratic party chairman, who also spoke on "Upfront." "They understand what happened. They understand the massive credit fraud, the layoffs, and the dismantling of the economy. The don't want republicans back in."
And with the first open election since 1982, political experts say there could be less finger pointing and more debate on the issues.
"Democrats will say 'we did the best we could in tough times and we have a vision for the future.' Republicans will say 'we would have done a much better job and here's our alternative view of the future,'" said Charles Franklin, UW Political Science professor.
Franklin said the election will depend on whether voters focus on state issues versus national issues, because sometimes disapproval with national policies can trickle down to local leaders.
Plus, democrats made major gains in 2006 and 2008. Having three successful elections in a row will be difficult.