Wisconsin U.S. Senate Race Roundup: July 16
Here are the latest updates from the campaign trail in the race to be the next U.S. senator from Wisconsin.
Leading up to the Aug. 14 primary, Patch will regularly bring you the latest news from the campaigns for Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seat in play this election cycle.
GOP Hopefuls Issue Dueling Ads, Release Second Quarter Fundraising Totals
As the negative sparring among GOP candidates picks up, their respective campaigns are turning on the heat with new advertisements.
Following an ad aired Friday by the conservative Mark Neumann-backing political action committee Club for Growth, the Eric Hovde campaign quickly released an ad of its own, responding to what it called an attack from the Neumann campaign.
The markedly-negative ad from the Hovde camp highlights Neumann's voting record and cites his "attack" on Gov. Scott Walker, ending with "We've had enough, Negative Neumann."
Later that day, frontrunner and former Gov. Tommy Thompson launched a new ad of his own. Titled "Road to Repeal," it features Thompson riding a motorcycle down a country road over a rock guitar track and cites his devotion to repealing the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare."
"Tommy Thompson has always fought for our freedom and always will," the ad states. "Tommy ended welfare, freeing a generation from dependency on government. Tommy will end Obamacare, too."
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday that the Washington D.C.-based Club for Growth spent nearly $700,000 on the ad campaign against Hovde and Thompson.
And early Monday morning, as if responding to the ads, the Neumann campaign announced it will "dominate the airwaves" with the money it raised last quarter.
In a press release, the campaign said it raised over $700,000 in the second quarter of 2012, bringing its total to $2.2 million.
"Unlike the other candidates we've saved our money for the end," campaign manager Chip Englander said in the release. "We began our advertising campaign Tuesday and we're set to dominate the airwaves with our conservative message for the final month."
According to WisPolitics, Hovde announced his second quarter fundraising total Monday as well, coming in well below Neumann at $237,000. As of Monday morning, Thompson and another GOP contender, Jeff Fitzgerald, had yet to release that information.
Hovde Picks up Conservative PAC Endorsement
The conservative, Washington D.C.-based political action committee FreedomWorks officially endorsed Hovde Monday, calling him the "clear choice for voters who support free markets, fiscal responsibility, and constitutionally-limited government."
According to a press release from the Hovde campaign, the PAC is a "grassroots organization" that wants to send a "political newcomer" to the U.S. Senate.
"Just like 2010, our activists want to send new blood to Washington — not the recycled politicians of a bygone era," the group's executive director Max Pappas said in the release. "Secondly, FreedomWorks PAC activists overwhelmingly want Eric Hovde to be their next senator."
Thompson: 'Hovde Lies'
In a Friday press release, the Thompson campaign decried Hovde's "lies" about Thompson's record.
Here are some excerpts from the statement:
Eric Hovde's attack on Tommy Thompson is full of lies and distortions. Wisconsin voters know better than to trust a Washington D.C. socialite who just moved to Wisconsin after 25 years to buy a U.S. Senate seat using money he made as a bailout predator.
Eric Hovde is showing he just doesn't know the Wisconsin way, by outright lying about Tommy being a lobbyist. In reality, Tommy Thompson created 740,000 jobs in Wisconsin while Hovde was making millions in the bailout sector in Washington.
In another statement Friday, Thompson announced endorsements from Wisconsin State Assembly representatives Evan Wynn (R-Whitewater) and Joseph Knilans (R-Janesville).
Check back at Patch.com for more updates on the Senate race.