MADISON, Wis. -

In a letter released on Saturday, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said he will not run as a Democrat in the gubernatorial recall election.

Barca said he was approached by a wide range of people to run for the office currently held by Gov. Scott Walker.

"After careful reflection, I have decided not to run for governor in the upcoming recall election," Barca said in the letter. "It was a very difficult decision, in no small part because I have been so moved by the emails, calls and requests from so many active, caring citizens like yourself who have been at the forefront of our movement to restore Wisconsin values to our state government."

Barca said it is important to maintain control of the Assembly as well, and he will stay in his current position in hopes of sustaining that margin.

He also said he is proud of leading a charge that kept the Act 10 public hearing going for 124 hours, so 4,300 citizens could weigh in on the bill.

"Together, we can do this," Barca said. "I know this because I had the honor this session to lead Assembly Democrats during our fight against taking away workers? rights."

"Of course, to make a difference in an election one does not need to be the nominee, as so many of you have proven," Barca said. "I certainly will continue to make this recall a priority as I work for another goal that is also monumentally important: the Assembly elections this fall."

With the addition of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett joining the race on Friday, there are four candidates vying for the Democratic nomination: former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout and Secretary of State Doug La Follette.