MILWAUKEE -

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said GOP Senate candidate Tommy Thompson is a hero to other leaders in the party, including vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker.

Priebus made his comments Sunday at a fundraiser in Milwaukee hosted by Ryan for Thompson.

Priebus is also a Wisconsin native like Ryan, who is a congressman from Janesville.

Priebus called Thompson "somebody who showed all of us and paved the way in this state and this country."

Thompson stood by his side on stage with Walker and Ryan as he made the comments.

Thompson faces Democrat Tammy Baldwin in the race for Wisconsin's open Senate seat. Polls show Baldwin with a narrow lead with the election just 23 days away.