August 30, 2014

Winnebago Co. exec ponders run for governor

The top elected official in Winnebago County is closer to deciding whether he’ll get into next year’s race for governor. “I totally intend to make that decision by Labor Day,” said County Executive Mark Harris would run as a Democrat. “I’ve not made that decision yet, but I’m very seriously thinking about it.”

Republican Governor Scott Walker will be seeking his second term in November of next year. Harris was first elected as county executive in 2005. He served three terms on the Oshkosh City Council, and was a trust officer and vice president at Associated Trust Company for 10 years. He concedes that none of that adds up to statewide name recognition.

“I’m not a well-known name, nor have a raised large amounts of money for campaigns in the past. But I don’t think that’s bar from me entering a race and seeing how it develops,” Harris said.

Former state commerce secretary and Trek bicycle executive Mary Burke could also run as a Democrat. Senator Kathleen Vinehout of Alma might get in the race too. “Most of my meetings and conversations have been with ordinary Democrats, meeting with different county Democratic parties,” said Harris. “I’m encouraged. I think I have a message that they found interesting, and I’ve really only heard encouragement.”

Mike Kemmeter, WHBY