Now that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan has announced he will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2012, another major Republican contender is making his intentions known. Former Governor Tommy Thompson has begun the process of gathering supporters and planning his strategy for a run, according to Thompson adviser Bill McCoshen.
McCoshen says an official declaration of candidacy is not imminent, but Thompson is taking steps to make an announcement soon. He says Thompson is currently focused on helping six GOP senators survive expected recall elections later this summer.
Thompson was last on the ballot in Wisconsin in 1998, when he won re-election to a fourth term as governor. He left midway through that term to serve as U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary under former President George W. Bush.
McCoshen says Thompson is currently traveling to Japan, but does intend to be at the state Republican Party convention in Wisconsin Dells this coming weekend.