No Republican running for U.S. Senate gets party endorsement

GREEN BAY -- After a roll call vote at the Republican State Convention in Green Bay, none of the party's candidates for U.S. Senate got the party's official endorsement.

Four Republican candidates are running for the senate seat being vacated by Democrat Herb Kohl, who has held it since 1988.  Former Governor Tommy Thompson, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, former U.S. Congressman Mark Neumann and businessman Eric Hovde are all seeking the Republican nomination.

After three rounds of roll call votes at the state convention at Shopko Hall in Green Bay, none of those candidates earned enough votes to seal the party's endorsement.  One of candidates needed to get 60% of the vote.  Jeff Fitzgerald came closest with 52%.

In his speech before the roll call voting took place, Fitzgerald said the endorsement would help his campaign tremendously.

"I need your support today.  I am running a grassroots campaign and this nomination will go a long way," Fitzgerald said.

After the first round of voting, Hovde earned the fewest votes and was eliminated from the running for the endorsement.  After the second round, Thompson received the fewest votes and was eliminated.  The final round of voting put Neumann up against Fitzgerald.  Fitzgerald got the most votes in the final round, but not enough to seal the nomination.

The candidate who eventually win's the republican nomination will face Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin in the general election.

Related stories: