State News

Mayor Paul Soglin considers challenging Walker for governor’s post

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said Saturday he might run for Wisconsin governor, after considering the success likeminded Sen. Bernie Sanders had in last year’s presidential primary.

Image By: Cong Gao

Breaking away from past reluctance toward a run for Wisconsin governor, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin has announced he might challenge Gov. Scott Walker for the post in 2018.

Soglin—who last year voiced “no interest” in running—told the Wisconsin State Journal on Saturday he changed his mind and might seek the Democratic gubernatorial nomination after all.

He said his decision is in part with consideration to the sweeping success of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in Wisconsin’s last presidential primary. Sanders, a self-proclaimed “democratic socialist,” won against Hillary Clinton in all but one county—something Soglin says would favor a candidate with his policy views.

Soglin could not be reached for comment, but told the State Journal his campaign could focus on Wisconsin’s economy. Touting a low unemployment rate in Madison and the surrounding area, he suggested the rest of the state could follow the area’s lead. A recent report showed Dane County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state in April at 2.1 percent.

Democrats have been slow to challenge Walker, who has emerged victorious in the last two gubernatorial races and a recall election in 2012. While several Democrats have indicated they might run for governor, recent Stanford University graduate Bob Harlow is the party’s only formal candidate so far.

Soglin, 72, was re-elected to a second four-year term as Madison’s mayor in 2015. He also held the position from 1973-79 and from 1989-97.

The election will take place in November 2018. Soglin has not indicated when he expects to reach a decision.

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