Jeff Fitzgerald Enters Wisconsin Senate Race

Posted August 30, 2011 at 12:47pm

Wisconsin Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald is the latest Republican to join the state’s open-seat Senate race.

On the same day former Rep. Mark Neumann (R) announced he would run for the seat of retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D), Fitzgerald confirmed to the Wausau Daily Herald editorial board Monday that he was entering the race, as expected. He told a radio station last week he was all but in but had not made it official until Monday.

“We have the same problems here [in Wisconsin] as we have in D.C.,” Fitzgerald told the newspaper.
Still unannounced is former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R), who will become the instant frontrunner when he makes his bid official.

Fitzgerald and his brother, state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R), were at the center of the collective bargaining fight with public employee unions and pushed through a budget that was highly unpopular with Democrats.

The early questions about Fitzgerald center on whether he can overcome expected fundraising and name identification advantages that Thompson and Neumann start the race with.