Feingold not running for office in 2012

This is a devastating blow for the liberal left in Wisconsin going into 2012.

Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold announced this morning he will not be a candidate in 2012, telling supporters he will instead focus on teaching, writing a book and leading his Progressives United PAC.

Feingold was the favored candidate of some Dems to seek the party’s nomination next year either for the open U.S. Senate seat or to challenge Scott Walker if the guv is recalled. He also acknowledged in an email to his Progressives United supporters of his strong standings in the polls for both races.

“After twenty-eight continuous years as an elected official, however, I have found the past eight months to be an opportunity to look at things from a different perspective,” Feingold wrote.

In his concession speech on Election Night 2010, Feingold declared it “was on to 2012,” prompting speculation he may challenge President Obama in a Dem primary, a notion he quickly sought to tamp down.

In the email, he said he meant those words and said they were a reference to the need to re-elect Obama, pledging to work toward that goal. He said those words also now mean retaking Wisconsin government after the “aggressive tactics of Governor Walker and the legislature,” and pledged to use his Progressives United PAC to fight against those in the political process willing to accept unlimited corporate contributions for “short-term political gain.”

Still, he also called the last few months with family, friends and loved ones “among the best in my life, and I am not eager to give that up.”

“But for now I am thoroughly enjoying the life of a private citizen in this great state of Wisconsin,” he wrote.

In other words he doesn’t want to potentially be a “junior” Senator again and he sees that a recall of Governor Scott Walker has no real chance of success.

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