Photo by Michelle Stocker, The Capital Times

Longtime lobbyist Bill McCoshen formally announced today he won’t run for guv in 2022, saying he lost “too much precious time” trying to close the sale of his lobbying firm to mount a serious bid.

Michael Best Strategies announced yesterday that it had acquired Capitol Consultants, a deal that had been in the works since spring.

McCoshen, who will remain with Michael Best Strategies as a partner, said in a statement running a “positive, issue-oriented grassroots campaign” requires time and money.

“You need both to raise name ID statewide,” McCoshen said. “While I’m confident we could have raised the money, the reality was we lost too much precious time trying to close on the sale of our primary business.”

WisPolitics.com first reported yesterday afternoon that McCoshen had decided against a bid for guv. His decision leaves Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch as the only high-profile Republican to get into the race so far. State Rep. John Macco, of Ledgeview, and former U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson are both weighing runs.

In his statement, McCoshen argued history shows Republicans need a competitive primary to beat Gov. Tony Evers next year. He noted former Gov. Tommy Thompson won a five-primary before beating Dem incumbent Tony Earl in 1986 and Lee Dreyfus beat Bob Kasten in 1978 before knocking off interim Gov. Marty Schreiber.

McCoshen also said he will continue his involvement with Common Sense Wisconsin, a nonprofit conservative advocacy group.

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