Wis. Assembly Speaker Fitzgerald to run for Senate

By the Associated Press | October 11, 2011 | 9:40 AM EDT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican speaker of the Wisconsin state Assembly and a key backer of Gov. Scott Walker's proposal curbing public union bargaining rights is running for the U.S. Senate.

Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald said in an interview with The Associated Press that he wasn't worried about facing Republican stalwart former Gov. Tommy Thompson, who is also running.

Fitzgerald's entry into the race Tuesday further muddies the Republican field. In addition to Thompson and Fitzgerald, former U.S. Mark Neumann is also running.

A fourth lesser-known Republican, state Sen. Frank Lasee, is also considering getting in the race.

The Senate seat is being vacated by Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl, who is retiring.

The only Democratic candidate who has announced a run so far is U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin.