Hovde Calls Dem. Donation 'A Total Mistake'

Mar 13 2012 | 11:04am ET

Hedge fund manager Eric Hovde is getting a taste of life as a politician.

Hovde formally entered the race last week—and quickly learned that his opponents and media members are just as quick to look for embarrassing incidents from his past. And they found one: Hovde, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), and who is running as a conservative, gave $500 the then-Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle's reelection campaign.

Doyle, who served from 2003 through last year, is a Democrat.

"I'll admit, it was a total mistake," Hovde said, although he added that he did not remember the donation. "I'd like my money back because he was a lousy governor."

Opponents have also latched onto what they call Hovde's "carpetbagger" status: The Madison native only recently moved back to his home state after more than two decades in Washington, D.C.

Doyle is facing former governor and Cabinet member Tommy Thompson, former Rep. Mark Neumann and State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald in his bid for the G.O.P. nod.

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