Thompson files fundraising papers for Senate run
MADISON - Former Governor Tommy Thompson has said that his long consideration of a run for U.S. Senate is over, and the process to run for the Senate has begun.
"I've filed my corporation documents today, which allows me now to build my organization, raise money so I can go out there and tell the story," he said on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Midday with Charlie Sykes."
"An announcement will be coming very soon...we're doing it in steps because that's what the federal law requires."
Thompson says he filed documents to build "Tommy Thompson for Senate, Inc."
"I'm building support. I'm building an organization, even bigger than when I ran for President. I am ecstatic about the kind of support and overwhelming endorsements I'm receiving and will be receiving when I go forward."
After he raises $5,000, he has two weeks to file his official candidacy.
He said much of what he plans to work on in a Senate run involves the issue of entitlements.
While on the show, Thompson criticized President Obama's proposed tax moves.
"He is addicted to spending and taxes," said Thompson.
"I cut taxes 91 times, and every time I cut taxes, we were able to expand the economy and create jobs. 14 years ago, when I was the governor, we increased the jobs in the state of Wisconsin by 742,000 new jobs."
Thompson has yet to announce he's officially running for the Senate seat being vacated after the 2012 elections by current Democratic Senator Herb Kohl.
In August, Thompson talked about getting back into politics after being off the ballot for more than a dozen years.
When asked why he would want to be a freshman senator, he said, "Because the country is in terrible shape."
Former Republican Congressman Mark Neumann was the first from the GOP to announce that he is running.
Madison Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin is the only Democrat in the race so far.
Both Green Bay Democratic Congressman Steve Kagen and Horicon Republican Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald could also emerge as candidates.
There aren't many in the state that doubt if Thompson will run for the seat, but many are comparing him to another well-known indecisive figure in the state.
"Wisconsin politics Brett Favre," said Marquette University Political Science Professor, John mcadams.
"Tommy plays this game every couple of years, it's a Brett Favre thing, will he won't he," said State Democratic Party Spokesman, Graeme Zielinski.
With Thompson's inability to make it official, will that open up the field for other candidates? A handful of potential Republican opponents are still trying to make their decision to run.
"We have a long list because I think all of them think they can win," said State Republican Party Chairman, Brad Courtney.
Courtney won't talk about any specific candidate's campaign or why Thompson is delaying the inevitable, but Mark Neumann, the only Republican who has officially announced a candidacy sent this statement: "In Wisconsin we should respect Tommy's lifetime of service as Governor, in the Legislature, and in President Bush's cabinet."
Representative Tammy Baldwin is the only Democrat who has declared, and her party leaders say they are eager to watch the republican race.
"It will be interesting to see from the sidelines how their party devours one another," Zielinski said.
Thompson is expected to officially announce his candidacy in a few weeks.