Leinenkugel likely to enter Senate race

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Richard “Dick” Leinenkugel appears to be getting closer to announcing he will run in the Republican primary race to challenge Democrat Russ Feingold for the U.S. Senate.
When asked about a timetable for his decision in an e-mail by BizTimes this week, Leinenkugel responded: “Coming soon. Will be going out to DC to meet with Republican Senatorial Campaign Staffers the first week of May.  I will keep you posted …”
La Crosse television station WXOW reported today that a source close to Leinenkugel said he will announce his decision to run for the seat next week. The source said Leinenkugel’s campaign kick off will feature stops in several Wisconsin cities including Janesville, Feingold’s hometown.
Leinenkugel, who resides in Menomonee Falls, has been criticized by some of Milwaukee’s conservative talk radio hosts because he served Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle as secretary of commerce.
However, some political insiders told BizTimes this week that Leinenkugel will be able to defend his role as that of a job creator and distance himself from Doyle’s overall administration. They also said a more moderate candidate might stand the best chance of defeating Feingold, who has tended to be perceived as an independent voice in the Senate.
If he enters the GOP primary, Leinenkugel will join Middleton real estate developer Terrence Wall and Watertown small business owner Dave Westlake. Ron Johnson, president of Pacur in Oshkosh, and state Sen. Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield) also are considering entering the race.. Ted Kanavas told WisPolitics.com he could be making his decision soon. Kanavas said his decision has now come down to whether he thinks he can raise $5 million, the amount he thinks is needed to build the required name identification for a competitive run against Feingold.
“That’s really the biggest challenge,” Kanavas said.
– BizTimes Milwaukee

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