Feingold: I'm Out of 2012 Race
Wisconsin Democrats had hoped he'd run against Scott Walker
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2011 10:15 AM CDT
Democratic candidate for Wisconsin, Russ Feingold concedes to Republican candidate Ron Johnson during his election night party in the midterm elections on November 2, 2010 in Middleton, Wisconsin.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Russ Feingold dashed the hopes of supporters today, announcing that he wouldn’t run for anything in 2012. Feingold was widely considered the Democrats’ best bet to take on Scott Walker if they succeeded in forcing a recall election next year, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Others hoped he’d try for the Senate seat vacated by the retiring Herb Kohl. A poll yesterday ranked him the “best-known and best-liked” candidate in the field.

Feingold broke the news in an email to supporters this morning. “After twenty-eight continuous years as an elected official … I have found the past eight months to be an opportunity to look at things from a different perspective,” he wrote, saying he was “thoroughly enjoying the life of a private citizen.” With Feingold out, the Senate race is wide open, though Rep. Tammy Baldwin will likely be considered the early favorite for the Democratic nomination.