Former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., won't try to get his old job back, he's telling supporters in an email this morning.
The former three-term senator would have been a top candidate to replace retiring Sen. Herb Kohl, or to take on Gov. Scott Walker in a potential recall election. But Feingold will tell his fans he's more interested in his teaching job at Marquette Law School.
"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," Feingold said in the email, first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert. Feingold said he is "thoroughly enjoying the life of a private citizen."
Feingold's decision means Rep. Tammy Baldwin becomes Democrats' top choice for the seat. Republicans will likely face a primary battle between former Gov. Tommy Thompson and another candidate. Thompson has already picked out key advisors, though conservative groups like the Club for Growth want another Republican in the race.
Ex-Rep. Mark Neumann, state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and businessman Tim Michels have all indicated at least some interest in running for Kohl's open seat.