MADISON (WKOW) -- Former two-term Republican congressman Mark Neumann says he will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Herb Kohl.
Neumann is the first candidate to officially announce he's running for the seat in 2012. Republican Tommy Thompson and Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin are also expected to run and a number of others are also considering entering the race.
Those include Republican Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, state Sen. Frank Lasee and former state Sen. Ted Kanavas.
On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind and former U.S. Rep Steve Kagen are also considering running.
Neumann's campaign released the following statement:
Waukesha Republican says $14 trillion debt, runaway spending compelled him to run
Neumann: "Tammy Baldwin is a radical who last year was ranked Congress's #1 liberal. America cannot afford her agenda of more spending, more taxes, and socialized healthcare."
WAUKESHA, Wis. – August 29, 2011 – Citing the need to end runaway federal spending and rein in the out-of-control $14 trillion debt, Waukesha County Republican Mark Neumann announced this morning that he will be a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012.
"I'm running for Senate because the $14 trillion debt is destroying our country. This debt not only hurts our economy in the near term, but also threatens to end the American Dream. The day of reckoning isn't in 50 years, it's coming now," Neumann stated. "We see it already in our credit rating downgrade. That won't be the last one without getting the debt under control. Poor credit ratings mean high interest rates, high unemployment, lower housing values, and a fundamentally altered America."
Neumann also stated his full opposition to ObamaCare, and said he would act immediately to seek its repeal. Last year Neumann collected over 25,000 petitions opposing ObamaCare.
"This problem cannot be passed off to future generations, and ObamaCare compounds the likelihood of fiscal disaster," Neumann said.
Neumann also noted that his likely opponent, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, was recently ranked the most liberal member of Congress by the independent National Journal.
"She's voted for virtually every proposal from Obama that has led America to the brink of fiscal disaster. If you liked Obama's stimulus, cap and trade, and ObamaCare, then back Tammy Baldwin. She voted for all three," Neumann continued.
Neumann is the first announced candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Herb Kohl. Two recent polls from Basswood Research and Public Policy Polling indicate Neumann is well-positioned as the leading conservative candidate against a host of potential Democrats.
"Wisconsin is at the forefront of a new breed of fiscal conservatism, with Republicans including Gov. Scott Walker, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Ron Johnson leading the way," Neumann noted. "The Badger State is poised to show the rest of the nation that we know how to put a stop to the reckless spending that threatens to send our economy off the rails."
Neumann and his wife Sue live in Waukesha County. They have three adult children and four grandchildren. Neumann served in Congress from 1995-1999. He was hailed as one of the principal architects of America's last balanced budget, which led to a jobs boom and a federal surplus for the first time in a generation. In addition to his time in Congress, Neumann has spent 30 years as a business owner, creating hundreds of private sector jobs.
"I love Wisconsin and I love our nation. I love the opportunities it offers to every single American," Neumann said. "That is why I cannot stand by while President Obama and Congresswoman Baldwin push an agenda that will bankrupt our nation."