MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin's former governor and U.S. Cabinet secretary Tommy Thompson has launched a bid for U.S. Senate, 13 years after his name last appeared on a ballot.
The Republican formally announced his bid Thursday, though he has already been fending off attacks from Democrats and more conservative Republicans over his position on President Barack Obama's health care reforms.
Thompson spoke in support of reforms when the overhaul legislation was working its way through Congress, though he now favors repealing the law.
Some conservatives also say his record as governor and as President George W. Bush's first health and human services secretary is too moderate and not in line with the Republican Party.
The other two Republicans also seeking the nomination are state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and former Congressman Mark Neumann.
Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman Brad Courtney released the following statement in regard to former Governor Tommy Thompson’s bid for U.S. Senate:
"With today’s announcement by former Governor Tommy Thompson, voters have gained another strong conservative choice in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Thompson joins an impressive field of GOP candidates with proven track records of job creation and fiscal responsibility. We look forward to contrasting the accomplishments of the GOP field with the failures of Barack Obama and Tammy Baldwin."
Mark Neumann released the following statement on Tommy Thompson's entry into the United States Senate race:
"I'm the most conservative candidate in the race. I'm the only candidate who has a detailed plan to cut trillions in government spending. I opposed ObamaCare from day one, collecting over 25,000 petitions opposing it last year. I'm the only candidate with a 25-year track record in business, creating hundreds of private sector jobs for Wisconsin. I look forward to a debate on the issues as the campaign unfolds."