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Friday, June 10, 2011

 10:56 AM 

Thompson says he'll talk 2012 Senate race after summer recall election

Tommy Thompson said today he will not announce his intentions for 2012 until after this summer's state Senate recall elections are over.

Shortly after U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl announced he would not seek re-election, various sources close to Thompson indicated the former guv was preparing to make a bid for the seat in 2012. But in the weeks since, Thompson has been largely silent about a potential campaign other than a couple of radio interviews. That has sparked some question among insiders about whether Thompson, who has flirted with campaigns the last couple of years only to decide against a run, was truly committed to running in 2012.

"Once we are through this critical period of recall elections, it will be appropriate to talk about 2012, and I will make my intentions clear then -- but not sooner," Thompson said in a statement. "Getting ready for the campaign during a presidential election will take a great deal of time, planning and effort. And so, this must wait until we get through the immediate challenge of the recall elections, in which I am confident we will prevail."

In the statement, Thompson said the future of the nation is at stake in the 2012 election.

“I believe that in the U.S. Senate I could help get our economy moving again, put our fiscal house in order, and help address other pressing problems with the same kind of approach to innovative reforms that made Wisconsin a national leader in tax cuts, job growth, welfare reform, and education reform while I was governor,” Thompson said.

UPDATE: Thompson has retained GOP operative Darrin Schmitz and his firm Persuasion Partners Inc. to help with strategic planning as he works on a possible U.S. Senate bid, Schmitz said.

Schmitz is a former press secretary and campaign aide to Thompson who has more recently worked on the campaigns of U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and AG J.B. Van Hollen.


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