Gov. Jim Doyle is set to announce Monday that he will not seek re-election to the governorship, leaving Wisconsin's highest job in the state without an incumbent running for office.
Doyle's approval ratings have dipped considerably in recent months, and the governor faced a formidable opponent in Scott Walker (despite his flaws, he is a favorite among the GOP and conservative-leaning independents in Milwaukee County).
It's not clear yet who will be the Democratic nominee now that Doyle has stepped out of the race. But there are several names being thrown out there.
Among them: current front runner Lieutenant Gov. Barbara Lawton (who has expressed she would run if Doyle didn't), Congressional Rep. Ron Kind, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk (who had a failed primary run against Doyle when he first became governor), Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and State Sen. Jon Erpenbach.
It isn't official yet, but you shouldn't count on Doyle to resign before his term ends, as former Gov. Sarah Palin did -- much work remains between now and the 2010 election, and since he's free from campaign responsibilities, you can be sure Doyle is going to push as hard as he can to get things done. Among them? A transit rail system to connect Madison, its suburbs, and Milwaukee.
Of course, Doyle could resign if he get's offered a position within the Obama administration, a very likely possibility.