GOP lobbyist McCoshen won't run for Wisconsin governor

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Longtime lobbyist Bill McCoshen said Wednesday he will not seek the Republican nomination for Wisconsin governor.

McCoshen said he's spent the past 15 months traveling the state and meeting with citizens, business owners and politicians to gauge their interest in his candidacy and was encouraged by the support he received.

McCoshen said both time and money are needed to run the type of issue oriented, grassroots campaign needed to win.

“While I'm confident we could have raised the money, the reality is we lost too much precious time trying to close on the sale of our primary business,” McCoshen tweeted.

McCoshen, 56, recently sold his company, Capitol Consultants, for more than $1 million to Michael Best Strategies, the lobbying division of the Milwaukee law firm, Michael Best & Friedrich. McCoshen will join the firm as a consultant.

Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, 46, last week launched her campaign to try to become the first female governor in state history. She is the best-known Republican to officially get into the race against Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who is seeking a second term in 2022.

State Rep. John Macco, of Green Bay, and 2018 U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson, a former Marine, are also considering jumping into the race for the GOP nomination.

The race is a top priority for Republicans who control the Wisconsin Legislature but have been blocked by Evers who has vetoed GOP bills to make absentee voting more difficult, restricted access to abortions and prohibited enforcement of any future federal gun control laws.

The Republican primary is Aug. 9, 2022.