Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced Tuesday that he is not running for the Democratic nomination for governor.
“Thank you to the many people who have encouraged me to run for governor in 2018,” Barrett posted on Facebook. “I agree that now is the time for change in Madison and that starts with electing a new governor, a governor who puts Wisconsin first and not his national ambitions. But the fact is I love my job as mayor and that’s where my heart is.”
Barrett’s departure from the race leaves the ten Democrats running for governor who qualified to speak at party’s state convention, all of whom have pledged to undo Governor Scott Walker’s Act 10 reforms. By declining to run for governor again, Barrett avoids a possible third election contest against Walker. Barrett lost to Walker in 2010 and in the recall election of 2012. Barrett lost in the Democratic primary for governor in 2002 to former Governor Jim Doyle.
Republicans pointed to the Democrats’ shift to the left since Barrett’s loss in the recall election to Walker.
“As Democrats move further and further to the left with policies that endanger Wisconsin’s comeback, even the liberal Milwaukee mayor who championed the recall efforts against Scott Walker is taking a pass,” said Alec Zimmerman, spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “Just how far to the left will Democrats go?”