MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) Former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson has taken the next step to run for senate. The republican has filed fundraising paperwork. It allows Thompson to raise money to run for democrat Herb Kohl's seat.
While talking with radio host Charlie Sykes, Thompson said he'll officially announce his candidacy in the coming weeks.
"Well it's pretty obvious. I've filed my corporation documents which allows me now to build my organization, raise money, so I can go out there and tell the story," Thompson said.
With the state more politically divided than ever, what is that story? We asked Lawrence University Government Professor Arnold Shober for his perspective: "I think he would sell himself as pragmatic: I can get things done."
Shober says Thompson's name recognition should help during a campaign. Thompson served four terms as Governor, was a member of President George W. Bush's cabinet, and even made a bid for the White House in 2008. Shober points to past Thompson successes - "the Milwaukee voucher program, he'll talk about charter schools, open enrollment" - that are even more polarizing than they were a decade ago.
"We're in a state of transformation. We're not sure where we want to go. Divided. Little compromise from either side."
With former republican Congressman Mark Neumann and democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin already running, Shober thinks Thompson's chances are good, but says the former Governor was always seen as moderate - something he'll have to overcome before voters hit the polls in a primary.
"I think he's going to try very hard to come across as... not so far out of the Republican Party - remember 'taxes, taxes, taxes,' that's what he made his name in. I think he could argue... he's a better choice than Mark Neumann."
Bret Lemoine reports