MADISON, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson has won the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat the party is trying to capture for the first time in more than five decades.
The ex-governor and Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush defeated three GOP rivals during Tuesday's primary.
With 81% of the vote in, Thompson had slightly less than a 20,000 vote lead over challenger Eric Hovde.
It marked Thompson's first time on the ballot since 1998.
Thompson, who is also the former Health and Human Services Secretary under George W. Bush, will take on Tammy Baldwin, who ran unopposed on the Democratic side.
The winner of the November contest will replace retiring Senator Herb Kohl, who has endorsed Baldwin in the contest.
The win follows a blistering primary in which hedge fund investor Eric Hovde invested nearly $5 million of his own money into the race. U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann and state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald also sought the GOP nomination.
LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - With a little more than half of the ballots counted, former Governor Tommy Thompson leads Eric Hovde in the race for the Republican primary for US Senate.
The race has gone back and forth several times as new numbers come in. Earlier in the evening, fewer than 130 votes separated the two. As of 945pm, Thompson had about a 9,000 vote lead over businessman Hovde who is running in his first election.
LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The polls are now closed in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Let the counting of ballots begin.
A hotly contested U.S. Senate race is the only major statewide race on this election night. There are several state Assembly and Senate races of regional interest. There are also several county-level races on the ballot.
WXOW and wxow.com will have continuous election coverage all evening long. This includes the latest numbers on wxow.com/politics and reaction on the 10pm Report.
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