The Washington Times - May 18, 2011, 04:35PM

If it’s up to the Club for Growth, Republicans won’t nominate former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson for the U.S. Senate seat that Democrat Herb Kohl plans to walk away from next year.

“Tommy Thompson raised taxes as governor, supported ObamaCare, and now he wants to run for the United States Senate?” Chris Chocola, president of the influential anti-spending group, said in an email blast to supporters.


“April Fools was weeks ago. Wisconsin Republicans should recruit a pro-growth conservative to run, not recall some big-government pro-tax Republican whose time has come and gone. Club members are watching Wisconsin’s Senate race closely.”

The political scramble is on in Wisconsin, where Mr. Thompson and others are considering whether to pursue Mr. Kohl’s seat, after the Democrat decided last week he wouldn’t seek a fifth term in the U.S. Senate. Rising GOP star Rep. Paul Ryan announced Tuesday that he’d take a pass, clearing the way for other Republicans to jump into the race.

In recent months, Mr. Chocola hasn’t been shy about sharing his disdain for Republicans when he feels their records don’t embody the party’s conservative tenets.

He was one of the few conservatives to aggressively take aim at the potential presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, calling him just another “tax-hiking liberal” and a “king of protectionism” who doesn’t deserve conservative support in the next election.

“Donald Trump for president? You’ve got to be joking,” Mr. Chocola said at the time. 

Mr. Trump is no longer considering a bid.