Former state senator plans to run for governor

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Former State Sen. Tim Cullen told he is taking steps to allow him to begin fundraising for an expected gubernatorial bid next year.

Cullen (D-Janesville) stopped short of saying he will run for governor no matter what. But he said changing his registration with the Ethics Commission and opening a bank account are in advance of a formal announcement of his intention.

“If I wasn’t serious about running, I wouldn’t be doing this,” Cullen said. “You don’t do this to announce you’re not going to run.”

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Cullen said he plans to make a formal announcement in April. In the meantime, he plans to begin raising money, attend Democratic district conventions and continue meeting with others as he works toward officially getting into the race.

Cullen said he does not have an immediate fundraising goal, and the money raised will go toward a formal announcement and rollout of the campaign. His first campaign finance report would be due in July.

“Filing this is a significant step towards going ahead and rolling out a campaign,” he said.

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If he does enter the race, Cullen would be the first to announce his candidacy for governor in 2018.

Gov. Scott Walker has said he won’t announce a decision about 2018 until after the state budget is approved this summer. Walker was first elected governor in 2010, defeating Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. He was the winner in a 2012 recall election, also against Barrett, and was re-elected in 2014, defeating former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive and former state Commerce Secretary Mary Burke. is a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee.

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