Former Congressman Mark Neumann announced his plan to run for governor in the 2010 election Thursday, according to an exclusive interview with the Wisconsin State Journal.
“Some time between now and October we’ll be getting into the race,” Neumann said in the interview.
Neumann also made similar comments to Milwaukee Public Radio in an interview on Thursday.
Neumann served in Congress from 1995 until 1999. In 1998, Neumann ran for senator and was narrowly defeated by current Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Middleton.
Neumann’s interview came just three days after James Klauser, administration secretary under former Gov. Tommy Thompson, released an “open letter” urging fellow Republicans to support Neumann in a run for governor.
Klauser said he was pleased to hear Neumann has expressed plans to run for governor in 2010, adding he believes Neumann is the only candidate with the potential to help improve the state.
“Mark Neumann is the only perspective candidate from either party who has created jobs,” Klauser said. “All we have are political figures who have never worked in the private sector. … They’ve only worked for the government.”
Next week, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is also expected to declare his candidacy for governor as he travels to various locations throughout the state on Tuesday.
Alec Loftus, spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said he is skeptical of Neumann’s ability to effectively serve as governor.
“We expect him to — like most Republicans — be well-financed. But from what we’ve seen, both Scott Walker and Mark Neumann are promoting the failed Republicans’ ideals of the past,” Loftus said.
Loftus added he believes it will be a “serious Republican primary” if both Neumann and Walker run.
Gov. Jim Doyle has not announced if he plans to rerun for governor for a third term in 2010, although he has been raising funds over the last few months. Walker has also been raising funds in preparations for a possible gubernatorial run.
In a poll conducted last month by the MacIver Institute, in a hypothetical gubernatorial race pitting Doyle against Neumann, 49 percent of respondents said they would support Doyle with 42 percent supporting Neumann. The remaining 11 percent were undecided. Similar results were also reported for a race featuring Walker and Doyle.
Neumann did return several calls as of press time.