Aug 18, 2009
Governor Jim Doyle announces he will not run for a third term in 2010, setting up the first gubernatorial election without an incumbent since the Earl-Kohler race of 1982.
In his announcement, he makes subtle jabs at 3.5-term governor Tommy Thompson --
"This is the norm in this country. The President and most governors are limited to two terms by law. Most others have followed tradition. It has largely been Wisconsin’s practice over its history. I am already the longest serving Democratic governor and by the end of my term will be the second-longest serving governor in Wisconsin history. And I think this national norm serves good purpose. It keeps the political world from becoming stagnant. It allows new leaders to develop. It gives the voters more choices. It allows us to draw new insights and inspiration from the wellsprings of renewal in each generation."
...and at a certain quarterback...
"I personally would like to have put this decision off for another three or four months to see if I feel differently then. I know I will regret the decision many times over the coming year. But I am not going to go Brett Favre on you. I am announcing my decision now to allow other candidates to step forward and get going."
Doyle's successor will have to deal with the loss during the current recession of several of the state's major employers and the resulting hole in the state budget.