Coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

Eric Hovde concedes U.S. Senate race to Tommy Thompson

PEWAUKEE -- Political newcomer and businessman Eric Hovde conceded the U.S. Senate race to former governor Tommy Thompson just after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 14th. Hovde said he called Thompson, wished him well and says Thompson will have his support.

Thompson will now take on Democrat Tammy Baldwin (who ran unopposed in the primary) in November's general election for the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Herb Kohl.


With a net worth somewhere between $58 million and $240 million, Eric Hovde has millions of reasons not to get involved with politics. However, he says there is one reason why he’s doing it anyway.

“I just got tired of yelling at the television set every morning. I’m just so profoundly concerned about the direction we’re going,” Hovde said.

The nation’s yearly budget deficits have accumulated to a $16 trillion debt. Economists say the U.S. is approaching the point where it has borrowed so much, it won’t be able to borrow any more — a point where no one will trust the United States with a loan.

Hovde says the elected leaders entrusted with fixing the problem don’t even have a grasp on basic economics.

“Most of them have no clue. If we don’t change direction real quickly, the next three or four hours, we’ll have an economic collapse that will make that one pale in comparison,” Hovde said.

Hovde is a 48-year-old self-described fitness nut who lifts weights and practices Brazilian jujitsu. He graduated from Madison East High School in 1982 and went on to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying international relations. He lived in Washington, D.C. for 24 years, and moved back to Wisconsin about 18 months ago to run for U.S. Senate.

The latest Marquette University Law School Poll released Wednesday, August 8th shows the U.S. Senate Republican primary race tightening with less than a week until voters take the polls. Former Governor Tommy Thompson led the poll, but Thompson’s lead was shrinking.

The poll found Thompson led the pack with 28% of likely voter support. Hovde was next in line with 20%. Congressman Mark Neumann had 18% and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald 13% of the likely vote.

According to the Marquette Law School poll, 21% of likely GOP primary voters are still undecided. In July, 25% of likely GOP primary voters were undecided.

Hovde has planned what he hopes is a victory party for Tuesday night at the Marriott in Pewaukee. The polls close at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday.

FOX6's Mike Lowe profiled each of the five U.S. Senate candidates leading up to Tuesday's election. CLICK HERE to learn more about Eric Hovde.

CLICK HERE for additional coverage on the race for Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seat via

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