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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 Thursday that he won't be a candidate for governor of Wisconsin.

"My first responsibility must be to get affordable and accessible health care reform passed this year for all Wisconsin families," said Kind. "That is why I cannot run for governor."

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

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."

Kind, 46, a Democrat from LaCrosse, has represented western Wisconsin in Congress since 1996.

According to the Wisconsin State Elections Board, currently nine people --including a man from Ellsworth -- are registered as candidates for the gubernatorial election that will be held Nov. 2, 2010.

The registered candidates are Democrats Jared Gary Christiansen of Ellsworth and Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton of Algoma; Republicans Bill Ingram of Durand, U. S. Rep. Mark W. Neumann of Nashotah, John Schiess of Rice Lake, Mark Todd of Appleton and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker of Wauwatosa; and independents Michael J. Blinkwitz of Neenah and James Dean Langer of Germantown.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is among other Democrats considering a run.