MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- The Republican race for U.S. Senate is starting to become very heated and negative.
All four candidates spoke at a forum presented by Citizens for Responsible Government in Milwaukee today.
The media was not allowed to record the candidates speeches, but 27 News did talk to them afterwards and three came out swinging at each other.
Polling in a distant third place recently, former Congressman Mark Neumann has been getting help from the conservative political action committee Club For Growth, which put out an ad attacking both Eric Hovde and Tommy Thompson.
"I cannot coordinate in any way, shape or form with them (Club For Growth), so, I don't care to comment," said Neumann. "I do not like name calling, so, I would stay away from that."
But, Neumann has also released an anti-Hovde ad of his own and feels it is important that the truth about his opponents be told.
"Its factual information that the voters should have before they know who they're gonna vote for," said Neumann.
Hovde responded without pulling any punches.
"Mark is Mark. His whole mannerism is throwing mud and attacking just like he attacked Scott Walker endlessly," said Hovde.
Hovde now plans to come after Neumann with a TV ad of his own.
The multi-millionaire hedge fund manager also had some harsh comments for Tommy Thompson, especially in the area of economics.
"I think there are issues that I could talk about that, frankly, Tommy would have a hard time understanding," said Hovde.
"I would say anybody that makes those kind of statements isn't very bright," responded Thompson. "And I would also say he doesn't know anything."
Thompson said he is not surprised he's being attacked, because he's running at or near the top of all the polls.
Thompson hasn't run any attack ads of his own yet, in fact, his campaign has had little television presence at all, which he joked about when asked.
"Yeah, what the hell, where is that money?", said Thompson to his staffers. "Why aren't we spending it?"
With all of the bravado and mudslinging, Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald believes he will be the one candidate left standing.
"There's a lot of negative advertising going on between three of the camps and I'm gonna continue to run on my record as what I've been able to get accomplished as Speaker and get this state back on the right track," said Fitzgerald.
But the problem for Fitzgerald is money.
He currently faces a huge fundraising disadvantage.
When asked about television advertising, Fitzgerald said, "We have an ad ready, we now just need the money to get it on the air."
MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- The four Wisconsin Republicans running for U.S. Senate appeared Wednesday at a forum in Milwaukee.
The four are hedge-fund manager Eric Hovde, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann.
They took the stage separately for 30-minute presentations at the forum sponsored by the Citizens for Responsible Government Network.
Each discussed his qualifications, and they avoided any personal attacks.
The four Republicans square off in a primary on August 14. The winner takes on Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin in the general election in November.
Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann is attending the forum and will have complete reports tonight on 27 News at 5 and 6.
MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- Wisconsin's GOP primary for the U.S. Senate is four weeks away, and all four Republican candidates are speaking in Milwaukee on Wednesday.
The four are all scheduled to attend a forum sponsored by the Citizens for Responsible Government Network, which works to elect conservative candidates.
The candidates will appear separately and will have 30 minutes for speeches and a question-and-answer session.
The four Republicans candidates are hedge-fund manager Eric Hovde, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann.
They'll square off in a primary on August 14. The winner advances to take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin in the November 6 general election.
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