Wisconsin statehouse

Wisconsin Capitol

(The Center Square) – Scratch one candidate off the list of potential gubernatorial candidates in Wisconsin.

Bill McCoshen on Wednesday said he is not running. 

McCoshen is a former Tommy Thompson staffer, and was one of the top names on the list of possible Republican candidates.

McCoshen said he and his family decided not to be a candidate.

“I know what it takes to win statewide,” McCoshen said in a statement. “To run the type of positive, issue-oriented grassroots campaign we wanted to run required time and money. You need both to raise name ID statewide. While I’m confident we could have raised the money, the reality was we lost too much precious time trying to close on the sale of our primary business.”

McCoshen this week finalized the sale of his lobbying firm, Capitol Consultants, to the lobbying arm of Milwaukee law firm Michael Best & Friedrich.

McCoshen will be joining the firm to continue working as a lobbyist.

McCoshen’s decision not to run certainly benefits Rebecca Kleefisch the most.

She officially jumped into the race last week, and on Monday said she’s already raised a million-dollars.

While McCoshen is not running, he said another Republican should.

“History says the GOP needs a competitive primary to beat an incumbent Democrat governor in 2022. It has only happened twice in my lifetime. The last time was 1986 when Tommy Thompson beat Tony Earl. Tommy won a five-way primary before going on to win 4 four-year terms and become the longest serving governor in Wisconsin history. The other time was 1978 when upstart Lee Dreyfus defeated party-endorsed Bob Kasten in the GOP primary before defeating interim Governor Marty Schreiber,” McCoshen said in his statement.

There are a number of possible Republican candidates for governor, but no one has officially launched their campaign.

Voters won’t go to the polls for the primary election until next August. The Republican candidate will take-on Gov. Tony Evers next November.