Eric Hovde launches Wisconsin Senate bid against Tammy Baldwin


Eric Hovde, a Wisconsin businessman, announced his campaign Tuesday for the Senate seat held by Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, giving Republicans a prominent candidate in the state after two sitting members of Congress declined to run. .

“Do you feel like America is slipping away?” Hovde said in his announcement video. “Our country faces enormous challenges. Our economy, our healthcare, crime and open borders – everything is going in the wrong direction. “All Washington does is divide us and talk about who is to blame, and nothing gets done.”

“I believe we must come together and find common sense solutions to restore America,” he added in the video, which does not mention Baldwin or other Democrats or Republicans.

Hovde, the billionaire founder of H Bancorp LLC and CEO of a real estate development company, is the most prominent candidate to enter the Republican race so far. He ran for Senate once before, losing the Republican primary in 2012, and considered running for Senate in 2018 and governor in 2022, but decided against it.

Wisconsin is in the second tier of Republicans’ goals this year as the party tries to gain control of the Senate. It is a closely divided state where Donald J. Trump won in 2016 but Joseph R. Biden Jr. won in 2020, and where a Democratic governor won re-election in 2022, and poses a bigger challenge to Republicans than the red states of Montana, Ohio and West Virginia. But it’s likely to be competitive.

Ms. Baldwin quickly seized on the news of Mr. Hovde’s entry to solicit campaign donations. post on social media that this “will be my most competitive and expensive race yet.” A spokesperson for the Wisconsin Democratic Party said in a statement that Hovde would put “the ultra-wealthy like him ahead of middle-class Wisconsinites” and vote to ban abortion, cut Social Security benefits and repeal the law. of Affordable Health Care.

Both answers also touched on a point that Democrats are likely to hammer home in the coming months: Hovde owns property in California, where the bank he chairs is based, and has divided his time between the two states, although he is registered to vote at home in Wisconsin since 2012.

Reps. Mike Gallagher and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin, Republicans who had been seen as potential recruits, said last year they would not challenge Baldwin.

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