Hedge Fund Manager Loses Wisconsin Senate Primary

Aug 16 2012 | 4:02am ET

Hedge fund manager Eric Hovde narrowly lost his bid to become the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Wisconsin this November.

Hovde, who had never before sought public office, took 30.9% of the vote in Tuesday’s primary. But it wasn’t enough to defeat Tommy Thompson, the state’s 70-year-old former governor and a former secretary of health and human services, who took 34% of the vote, besting Hovde by just over 18,000 votes of nearly 600,000 cast.

Hovde spent some $5.5 million to draw close to the much better-known Thompson in recent weeks, and the political neophyte easily bested his two other opponents, both veterans of Wisconsin politics. But despite the better-than-might-have-been-expected showing, Hovde said his first political campaign would also be his last.

“Sadly, it didn’t work out the way I had planned,” the Hovde Capital Advisors founder said in his concession, adding that he was “proud of what we accomplished.”

“This is the end of my political career,” he said.

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