Thompson mulling Wisconsin Senate run


Somebody has to run against Russ Feingold (D-WI), and apparently former Republican Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson is thinking he may be just the person to do it. Thompson is in the radio business as a board member of the Armada Media Group.

Thompson also ran in the Republican presidential primaries of 2008, but failed to get any traction whatsoever.

Armada, a group formed by Thompson and an array of radio veterans, was designed to acquire small and middle market radio stations, and according to an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Online, it also is having difficulty maintaining traction, and is facing action from lenders. J-S says Thompson has a minority stake in the company, a stake which was as high as 12% but is now in the 3% range.

As for the Wisconsin Senate seat, an anonymous aide says that Thompson is studying financing and other campaign nuts and bolts matters, and has gone from 50-50 to 70-30 in favor of challenging Feingold in recent weeks. Thompson is said to already have $200K in campaign contributions without coming close to announcing his intentions.

Democrats write him off as a formerly popular politician – he served four terms as Wisconsin governor – who needs to see his name in the papers. But Republicans would see his candidacy as a major plus – especially since polls on a hypothetical Feingold-Thompson race give Thompson a 5% lead at the moment.

RBR-TVBR observation: Should Thompson make it all the way to the US Senate, it would not be the same as having somebody like Greg Walden (R-OR) in the House. Whereas Walden owned and operated his own radio group, Thompson is in broadcasting more as an investor – his true area of interest is demonstrated by another job on his resume – Health and Human Services Secretary.