Thompson wins GOP U.S. Senate bid

Thompson says 'Wisconsin is on a roll'
Thompson wins GOP U.S. Senate bid

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.

Thompson said his victory in the Republican Senate primary shows, “Wisconsin is on a roll.”

Thompson on Tuesday defeated businessman Eric Hovde, state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann.

Based on preliminary results, Thompson won with 34 percent compared with 31 percent for Hovde.

Thompson said he spoke with Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, who was tapped Saturday to be Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Thompson said Ryan told him “we’re taking the state back and we’re going to take our country back.”

Tuesday’s election marked Thompson’s first time on the ballot since 1998. He advances to face Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin in the Nov. 6 general election.

“Voters in Wisconsin will have a clear choice between an extreme liberal from Madison or a proven reformer who can get us working again,” Walker said in a statement Tuesday night on Thompson’s primary victory.

The Senate seat is open due to the retirement of Democrat Herb Kohl.

Baldwin released a statement Tuesday night on the general election.

“Tonight, the Republican primary electorate presented Wisconsin voters with a clear choice for the November election. Make no mistake, Tommy Thompson will stand with those who already have too much power and influence in Washington,” Baldwin said in the statement. “I will fight to do what’s right for the middle class and Thompson will put those at the very top and the big monied special interests in Washington ahead of Wisconsin’s hard working families. I will take on these powerful interests in Washington, and in the Senate, I will stand up for Wisconsin’s middle class, as I always have.”

Thompson’s win follows a blistering primary in which Hovde invested nearly $5 million of his own money into the race.