Tommy Thompson, a former Republican governor of Wisconsin, seems almost ready to annouce a Senate run.
Thompson told a Milwaukee NBC affiliate on Wednesday that he thinks he would be the strongest candidate in the race.
“You can’t take over the Senate without having a Republican senator from Wisconsin,” he said. “Who is the strongest candidate to win that seat? I believe it's myself.”
The former governor would likely enter the race to replace retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D) as the Republican front-runner. Former Rep. Mark Neumann (R), who ran against Gov. Scott Walker (R) in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary, is also considering a bid.
On the Democratic side, Rep. Tammy Baldwin is the most discussed likely candidate. Rep. Ron Kind and former Sen. Russ Feingold have also been mentioned as possible Democratic candidates, although Feingold seems to be more interested in running against Walker in a recall election than running to rejoin the Senate.
Wisconsin has voted for Democrats at the presidential level in every election since 1984, but Republicans have often run close races and had a banner year in 2010, picking up the governorship, a U.S. Senate seat and two U.S. House seats, as well as total control of the state legislature.