Former Bush Administration Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has gotten one step closer to a bid to replace retiring Wisconsin Democratic Senator Herb Kohl, telling local radio that he is planning his announcement. Via The Fix, Thompson said “An announcement will be coming very soon…we’re doing it in steps because that’s what the federal law requires.”
Thompson, a much more moderate Republican than the other declared candidate Mark Neumann, is already under fire from local party leaders who believe that the state has turned too far right to elect someone of his background. And perhaps the Republican leaders are speaking for themselves, but the rest of the party may not be so strict. Wisconsin conservative bloggers sent an open letter to national Republican leader Sen. Jim DeMint, asking him and his national compatriots to back off with their push to get Neumann to be endorsed, calling him “unworthy” to hold the office of senator.
While we do not question Neumann’s past contributions to conservatism while he was a Congressman, his actions during last year’s campaign are completely unbecoming of a conservative candidate.
We respectfully request the national conservative groups and individuals to take a second look at their endorsement of Neumann. We ask that since many of them missed the opportunity to come to Wisconsin during the recent battles over collective bargaining for state employees and the recall elections, they come to Wisconsin now to talk to true Wisconsin conservatives to find out what they think of Neumann before attempting to foist their choice upon Wisconsin.
Whomever wins the primary is likely to face Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, who so far is the only declared candidate on the left and is considered very likely to win the nomination.
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