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Potential candidates weigh challenges to Walker

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)   Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris says he’ll decide by Labor Day whether he’ll officially become the first Democrat to run for governor next year. He says he’ll need to make a decision by next Monday, so he can build up a base of campaign donors. Harris says he’s really wrestling with the idea of getting in the race, and not just because he’d have to face Republican Governor Scott Walker’s well-funded operation.

Former Trek Bicycle executive Mary Burke is emerging as the Democrats’ possible front-runner, in part because she has her own money to spend. Harris tells the A-P that Burke has met with him, and said a primary would hurt the final Democratic nominee’s chances of having enough money to make a presence against Walker next fall. Burke has not indicated when she’ll make a final decision on entering the race.

State Senate Democrat Kathleen Vinehout of Alma is also considering her second run for governor. She was a distant third in last year’s primary in the Walker recall contest. Vinehout says she won’t decide until next year whether she’ll run. She says most voters are focused on other things besides a governor’s election almost 13 months from now.