This time Tommy says he’s in it

Looks as if former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson is getting serious about a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Herb Kohl.

Thompson took another big step toward a return to politics when he announced co-chairs for a possible campaign. The appointments of State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and former Thompson aide Jim Klauser are the biggest sign yet that Thompson is serious. Klauser said a campaign committee would be formed after Labor Day.


Thompson, 69, has been meeting with political associates and telling them he wants back in the game. He is working behind the scenes on campaign, fund-raising and staffing plans — and would enter as a very strong front-runner for the GOP nomination and the seat.

There is one reason to think this isn’t an absolute done deal, regardless of what Thompson’s telling friends this week: He has flirted with political runs in the past, including the Senate in 2010, only to bail.

Tommy rocked a Tea Party crowd at the Capitol last year, delivering a stem winder (he even went all Barry Fitzgerald at the end) but saying he wouldn’t be running against Russ Feingold. Thompson said it was time for “new faces and new voices” — but this time around it seems the allure of a vacant seat is enough to get this veteran pol back in the ring.

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