UPDATE: Thompson Win May Signal GOP Shift in Wisconsin

UPDATED Wednesday, August 15, 2012 --- 12:03 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Tommy Thompson's victory in Wisconsin's Republican U.S. Senate primary runs contrary to recent elections won by new-wave conservatives with closer ties to the tea party.

Thompson, the former 14-year governor, on Tuesday beat not only the tea party favorite, but also a better-funded businessman running his first campaign and a young, conservative lawmaker with close ties to the GOP's beloved Gov. Scott Walker.

Thompson's win could signal a move toward the middle for Republicans in Wisconsin, a state that traditionally has never been too far blue or too far red for long.

Milwaukee area tea party leader Tim Dake says "Wisconsin's always known for zigging when everybody expects them to zag."

Thompson now faces Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin in the Nov. 6 election for the open seat.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


UPDATED Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - -- 7:15 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — It's Tammy versus Tommy in the Wisconsin U.S. Senate race.

Tommy Thompson survived a nasty four-person Republican primary on Tuesday and will take on Democrat Tammy Baldwin. The former 14-year governor who spent a lifetime in the public eye hasn't been on the ballot since 1998. That's the same year Baldwin, a Madison liberal, was first elected to Congress.

The Senate seat is open due to the retirement of Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl. Republicans see it as an opportunity to push them closer to the Senate majority. Republicans need a net gain for four seats to take control.

The seat has been in Democratic hands since 1957 following the death of Republican Sen. Joe McCarthy.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


UPDATED: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 --- 10:40p.m.

Madison, Wis. – Governor Scott Walker released the following statement tonight following former Governor Tommy Thompson’s victory in the Wisconsin U.S. Senate primary.

"Voters in Wisconsin will have a clear choice between an extreme liberal from Madison or a proven reformer who can get us working again."


UPDATED: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 --- 10:30p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson has won the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat the party is trying to capture for the first time in more than five decades.

The ex-governor and Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush defeated three GOP rivals during Tuesday's primary.

It marked Thompson's first time on the ballot since 1998. He advances to face Democrat Tammy Baldwin in the Nov. 6 election.

The seat became open following the retirement of Democrat Herb Kohl.

Millionaire hedge fund investor Eric Hovde, former

The win follows a blistering primary in which hedge fund investor Eric Hovde invested nearly $5 million of his own money into the race. U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann and state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald also sought the GOP nomination.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2012 --- 10:17p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann has conceded in the Republican Senate race and endorsed Tommy Thompson.

Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde were leading in the four-person race Tuesday that was too close to call based on early returns. State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald has also conceded.

Neumann told his supporters that their work is not done and he encouraged them to help defeat Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin.

Neumann calls Baldwin "somewhere out to the left of Barack Obama in never never land."

The Republican race was the only statewide contest in Tuesday's primary. The seat is open due to the retirement of Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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