In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Reports: Tommy Thompson In, Ryan Out For Wisconsin Senate Seat


As TPM has previously reported, potential Democratic candidates include former Sen. Russ Feingold, who lost re-election in the 2010 Republican wave after three terms in office, seven-term Rep. Tammy Baldwin from Madison and the surrounding counties, and several other names in state politics and business.

Thompson has had a long and successful career in Wisconsin politics, but has not been on the ballot since 1998. He was first elected to the state Assembly in 1966, eventually becoming the Republican minority leader. He was elected governor in 1986, then re-elected in 1990, 1994 and 1998, before joining President George W. Bush's cabinet in 2001. He left the cabinet after the 2004 election, and briefly sought the Republican nomination for president in 2007.

Thompson was long courted by the GOP to run for Senate in various cycles, but never made the jump -- he came very close in 2010, but ultimately backed away.