The former Democratic state senator sent out a press release Wednesday evening announcing her plans to enter the special election. Starting Feb. 27, she's taking an unpaid leave of absence from her job at the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority to campaign.
Plache also intends to drop out of the School Board race. She's not legally allowed take her name off the ballot, but she won't campaign for School Board and will resign if she finishes in the top three.
"If I didn't have to die to get my name off the ballot, I'd take it off," Plache said. "I'm completely focused on running for mayor."
Plache is also addressing her residency situation. She and her family now live in Mount Pleasant, but are in the process of selling their home and buying a new home in the city. Plache is now renting an apartment on Eighth Street near the City Hall Annex. Her 10-year-old daughter will live with her full time, and her husband will take care of their home until it sells.
State law requires Plache to establish residency in the city before taking office. Living in the apartment is one way to establish residency.
Plache said she'll work on her campaign at night until her unpaid leave of absence kicks in. She's hired a campaign manager, is making contact with community leaders and working on fundraising.
Here's her complete press release:
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2009, RACINE, WI – Kim Plache announced today that she will be a candidate for mayor in the upcoming special election. As Mayor, Plache would focus on:
(1) Retaining and creating family supporting jobs,
(2) Holding down taxes by controlling spending and working with people in Madison and Washington to bring more money to Racine,
(3) Reaching out to diverse groups of people to help create and push for effective and new solutions to long term city problems; especially crime, poverty and student performance in our schools.
"We must do everything in our power to retain and create jobs, cut costs in city government, bring in new money and to implement and expand effective solutions to our long term problems," Plache said.
Plache continued, "One thing we know for sure, if we keep doing everything in the same way that it has always been done, we will get the same result. That is not acceptable."
"Many good things that have been done in our City and we can’t afford to lose ground on the progress that has been made in reducing crime in some of our neighborhoods, in downtown revitalization, in improving the quality of life for our citizens through the enjoyment of our natural resources, but now is not the time to rest on our laurels."
"Now is the time to press forward with new leadership."
"We are right in the middle of one of the most dynamic regional economies in the world. If we are going to grow and protect jobs, we need a strong regional transportation system so we can take maximum advantage of that regional economy. If we want more jobs here, we must press forward with rebuilding I 94 and we must get KRM built."
"I am ready to lead this City. Everything I have done in my professional life has prepared me to be mayor of Racine," Plache said.
"My entire professional life has been devoted to working on behalf of Racine residents and area businesses. The work I did in the legislature and since that time on behalf of Racine improved our economy and quality of life."
While serving in the State Legislature, Plache wrote legislation to create the Center for Advanced Technology Innovation (CATI) to help drive innovation and job growth. Plache enabled the Healthcare Network by getting liability insurance for retired healthcare professionals who treat low income patients, and secured funding for the Root River Pathway. For the past five years as Senior Community Relations Officer at Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, Plache has increased home ownership and supported both business expansion and multi-family development for families and senior citizens in Racine.
Plache says the next mayor must be skilled at bringing diverse groups of people together to solve tough challenges.
"No person or group can solve these long term challenges alone. We must bring people together, roll up our sleeves and work together on creative solutions. We must look beyond the city’s borders and work with other municipalities and the state and federal government to strengthen our economy, reduce costs and protect our natural resources. I have a track record of doing just that."
Kim Plache, 48, was born and raised in the City of Racine. She attended Racine public schools and graduated from Horlick High School. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from UW-Parkside and a Masters in Public Administration from UW-Madison. Plache represented Racine in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1988 to 1996 and the State Senate from 1996 to 2002.
She currently serves on the UW-Parkside School of Business and Technology Advisory Board and the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation, Southeast Wisconsin Advisory Board.
Plache is married to Paul Hable and they have one daughter, Eve.