Political newcomer Hovde after Wisconsin's Senate seat


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Political newcomer Hovde after Wisconsin's Senate seat

By Charles Benson and The WTMJ News Team. CREATED Apr 1, 2012

MILWAUKEE - Political newcomer Eric Hovde wants to be Wisconsin's next U.S. Senator but he's up against some well known opponents.

The 47-year old business executive is hoping voters in 2012 are in the mood for someone who hasn't been in politics.

"I think so many people are tired of re-electing career politicians who don't come with any new ideas, " said Hovde.

Hovde hopes to take the same path Republican Ron Johnson used to come out of nowhere to knock out Russ Feingold in 2010. But unlike Johnson, Hovde faces a tough Republican primary against Tommy Thompson, Mark Neumann and Jeff Fitzgerald.

Hovde returned to his Madison roots last year to run for the Senate after living and working in D.C.

So why would they want to look at Eric Hovde and say here's a guy who is going to do something different than what these others guys say they will do as well?

"Because I think I understand the issue that is driving our economic problems much better than most of them," said Hovde.

There's no doubt Hovde will play off his financial skills. He owns community banks outside of Wisconsin and made millions running a hedge fund in Washington D.C., just don't call him a Wall Street guy.

"I never lived in New York and I never worked on Wall Street. I've never be a part of Wall Street. I've competed against Wall Street my entire life," said Hovde.

Hovde says he opposed bailouts on Wall Street and the auto industry.

"Wall Street claims to be free market capitalist but when they got in trouble after blowing up the financial system they ran to Washington to get supported and take bailouts and it wasn't just tarp it was a whole serious of programs."

But federal records show his company did invest in banks that received billions in TARP money.

"I never took a dollar of TARP money with the banks that I own," said Hovde.

The Republican primary is August 14th.