February 16, 2009

Kim Plache likely to enter mayor's race

Ken Lumpkin over at the Insider News spills the beans on an increasingly less secretive secret. Former State Sen. Kim Plache is a likely candidate for mayor.

She'll announce this week, probably Tuesday before the City Council calls the May 5 special election to replace Gary Becker on Wednesday. The primary election to narrow the field to two candidates is scheduled for April 7. Mayor Tom Friedel is serving in the office until the May election.

Plache, 48, was elected as a Democrat to the Assembly in 1988 and served until 1996, when she defeated former State Sen. George Petak in a recall election. Petak lost favor after casting the deciding vote for the Milwaukee Brewers' Miller Park stadium.

Plache was reelected to the Senate in 1998, but lost a close election to State Sen. Cathy Stepp, R-Yorkville, in 2002.

Since then, Plache has worked for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, representing a five-county region including Racine County.

She announced late last year she was running for Racine Unified School Board. But she's shifted gears since Gary Becker's swift downfall and is now looking to become the city's first female chief executive. Two other women - Lesia Hill-Driver and Jody Harding - are also expected to run this spring.

One minor problem for Plache is her name is already on the ballot for school board race, and under state law it can only be removed by death. Plache said she won't serve both jobs.

A bigger problem is Plache doesn't live in the City of Racine. She and her family - Plache is married with an 11-year-old daughter - moved to Mount Pleasant a few years ago to have better access to their jobs. They live near Spring Street and South Emmertsen Road.

Plache intends to move into an apartment in the city and put her house up for sale. She also leans heavily on the fact that she served in elected office in Racine for 14 years, grew up in Racine, has lived her whole life in the Racine area and now works on Racine's behalf with WHEDA.

If she runs, Plache will be a formidable opponent in the growing list of candidates. First, she's carried large swathes of the city in previous elections, and likely still has name recognition with voters. Second, she's tied into people who can raise money. The mayoral election is only six weeks long, so candidates don't have much time to build up a campaign fund. Third, she's not Gary Becker. A lot of candidates can claim that, but Plache may be the biggest voice to claim "outsider" status to City Hall.

It helps that she reportedly has some big names lining up behind her campaign. It'll be interesting to see who local state legislators support. It's hardly a secret that State Rep. Bob Turner, D-Racine, wants to run for the mayor's office, setting up a potential showdown with Plache. Where does that leave Democratic State Rep. Cory Mason and State Sen. John Lehman?

26 comments:

  1. Interesting.

    Kim Plache fled the City and now will move back into an apartment here?

    That's real dedication to the city you wish to serve....

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  2. Women are thinkers and doers...they multi-task their entire lives. The take care of men and children.

    I don't know about her vision or plans for Racine, but I do know she is experienced, strong, AND head and shoulders above some of the males who want the job.

    If she can leave ego aside, work hard, fight for children, families, jobs and our future - REALLY DO IT - that will be a great thing!

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  3. Since I was still a minor when Kim Plache ran for state senate I was not able to vote for her. I'm excited that I can now for mayor! Thank you Ms. Plache for running!

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  4. Hooray Hooray, Kim Plache would make an outstanding Mayor. Smart, articulate, understands budgets, she has it all together. This is fantastic news and she would bring back respectability to City Hall.

    I am so pleased to hear this!

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  5. Very interesting! Changes everything I Lus... I mean like Kim a lot! Voted for her everytime I could!
    I may not agree with everything she does but she does care for Racine

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  6. Hmmm, interesting. She's probably a better choice than anyone else running so far. The only thing that concerns me is in the past she paid Jameel Ghauri at the Bray center for knock and drags on voting day. I'm sure this usual gang of thieves will be at the doorstep of both Turner and Plache with their hands out.

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  7. First Cory, now Plache. Democrat carpet baggers are taking over this city.

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  8. Oh please stop the crap with carpetbaggers. Plache is Racine. Mason is Racine. Your carpetbagger garbage is old. In case you don't know, most younger professionals move many times in their careers, no one is bound or obligated to stay in Racine forever. Stop playing with the transistor radios and get with the IPod.

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  9. Well, well, well. The PR machine is in full swing.

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  10. "In case you don't know, most younger professionals move many times in their careers"

    That's Plache in a nutshell - career politician.

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  11. Please tell me what Plache did in Madison to better the lives of Racine residents? Oh yeah, NOTHING. This would be the lamest pick of all....And let me get this straight, she is going to sell her house and move her family into a Racine apt? Yeah right. C'moan people, we need a new direction, this is a complete step backwards.

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  12. Kim Plache, hands down. This is the best news in a long time for Racine.

    Thanks Kim. Let's have a debate. She will literally bulldoze any candidate.

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  13. Born Racine, January 4, 1961; married; one child. Graduate Racine Horlick H.S.; attended UW-Whitewater; B.S. in psychology, UW-Parkside 1984. Full-time legislator. Former legislative aide. Member: Democratic Party of Wisconsin; American Assn. of University Women; NAACP; Racine Co. Economic Development Corp.; Wustum Museum of Fine Arts. Elected to Assembly 1988; reelected 1990-94 (resigned 6/13/96): elected to Senate in June 1996 special election; reelected 1998. Biennial committee assignments: 2001 - Jt. Com. on Finance (a150 1999); Finance; Privacy, Electronic Commerce and Financial Institutions (also 1999); Women's Council (since 1995). 1999 - Legis. Coun. Com. on Guardians Ad Litem in Actions Affecting the Family. 1997 - Jt. Com. on Audit (eff. 4/21/98, co-chp. 1995); Business, Economic Development and Urban Affairs (eff. 4/21/98); Labor, Transportation and Financial Institutions (chp., eff. 1/15/97 to 4/21/98); Economic Development, Housing and Government Operations (eff. 1/15/97 to 4/21/98); Health, Family Services and Aging (eff. 4/21/98); Rustic Roads Bd.; Transportation Projects Comn. (eff. 1/15/97 to 4/20/98); Legis. Coun. Com. on State Strategies for Economic Development. 1995 Economic Development, Housing, Government Operations and Cultural Affairs; Labor; State of Wis. Building Comn.; Legis. Coun. Com. on Programs for Developmentally Disabled Persons.

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  14. Wow, quite a resume of activities. I wonder Kim, can you give us a few of your accomplishments from siting on these boards and committees? I don't know of anything. Hey, maybe you'll get elected to both the mayors seat AND the school board. That way you'll be just like your buddy Rob Turner.

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  15. I like Kim also. But move into Racine? How about moving some of the others great canidates into Racine to Run....? Art Howell? Georgia Herrera? Jeff Level? Al Days? I haved a list of great people that I would like to see them move into the city and run for Mayor......If she can do it they should too.

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  16. She has guts, she's strong nice to see!

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  17. You gotta be kidding! Kim Plache is looking to return to political office (just pick any office). She chose the school board because it would restore her name recognition for her office. In other words, she was using the RUSD as a stepping stone for something in 2011 (can you say county exec or mayor).

    Now she is an opportunist! Why wait until 2011 when you can run for mayor in a very crowded field. I bet Mac would support Plache's campaign if he was promised that she wouldn't run against him in '11.

    Kim Plache, you never brought any jobs or economic development to Racine when you were in Madison (except the juvie prison on Memorial Drive). Why should we think that you will be any different as mayor?

    And renting an apartment because you fled the city makes you the ultimate carpetbagger. You can cancel the lease after you lose in the April primary.

    Its not difficult to see through your self-interest!

    And, BTW, are you going to take a leave of absence from your state-paid job at WHEDA in order to campaign and not create a conflict-of-interest?

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  18. Georgia Herrera and Jeff Leavell do not reside in the City of Racine.

    (But then if they were interested, maybe they could sublet the apartment with Kim Plache)?

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  19. Anon 10:55 - Of couse self interest is involved! When is it not when someone is looking at changing jobs. So she wants to get back into politics, if that's what she loves then good for her. And she's willing to move back to the city - why is that criticized?
    So far she's the only mayoral candidate that I would vote for.

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  20. Art Howell? Al Days? Who's kidding who? Those are two of the biggest BS'errs in the city, if not world. They can't make a decision if their lives depend upon it; and haven't!!!!!! GO KIM GO!!

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  21. It is interesting how upset the one blogger got with the statement about Kim and Cory being carpetbaggers. By dictionary definition one who is a non resident but seeks public office in another community is a carpetbagger. If this was a candidate that you were weren't ready to vote for you would probably be calling that candidate the same thing.

    Hopefully if Kim is elected mayor she will be more responsive to the public than when she was a state sentator.

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  22. Downtown landlord trying to make a difference2/17/2009 11:31 AM

    Hey Kim, there are plenty of apartments available in downtown Racine, lots of for rent signs on Villa, Center, Grand, Park, College and Wisconsin. Why don't you rent in one of the undesirable neighborhoods so you can see what is really going on downtown. Maybe if you live there and get elected mayor you will be an active part of fixing one of the problems facing the city.

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  23. Kim Plache has never run for an office that did not have some sort of controversy. She is like parasites that live off of a host. Kim has not met a host she has not liked to live off of or should I say feed from. It would be nice if she would just stay in her govenor's specially created job and live off of all the taxpayers of Wisconsin instead of just the host city-Racine. C'mon, Kim, cut us some slack and just screw up Unified. Maybe you could find a political race that doesn't have a resignation or ouster to run for in the future.

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  24. And how are you so certain she isn't moving into a central city apartment?

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  25. Just what we need, another "insider" tax-and-spend club member. FRESH BLOOD folks! We need fresh blood. Not the same old crap we've had before and Madison hasbeens. God save us from the Liberals.

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  26. Yes, just another career politican, and scavanging the debris left in the wake of Becker's mess. Man, they are coming out of the woodwork.
    I agree with the guy that says, "Fresh Blood," and so far there is only one person who has had the nerve to declare candidacy PRIOR to Becker's screw-up. That says a lot about her (Jody Harding), as opposed to the "scavengers" that have declared themselves AFTER Becker's screw-up.

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