MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Republican former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson announced Monday that he won’t run again in a bid to take on the Democratic incumbent in the battleground state.
A campaign by the 80-year-old Thompson would have put him on the ballot for the first time in a decade and 24 years after his last win.
After much thought and difficult deliberation, I can share with you that I have decided against another race for governor,” Thompson said in a statement Monday. “This is a very difficult conclusion. After a full live of service and leading and growing businesses, I know I have the vision, drive and vitality to serve another term as Governor. Wisconsin needs strong leadership to bridge political divides, care for our most vulnerable, set our economy on a path to succeed in the 21st-century, and again make us the shining star of the nation. I would have brought those qualities and commitment as governor.”
You can read Thompson’s full statement here.
The winner of the Aug. 9 primary will advance to face Gov. Tony Evers.
Thompson was elected to four terms starting in the 1980s. Thompson’s entry would have shaken up an already crowded Republican field that includes former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, businessman and Marine Kevin Nicholson, and state Rep. Timothy Ramthun.