Doyle cabinet member Leinenkugel to run against Sen. Feingold?

Talk about a turn-around.

Dick Leinenkugel, the future-former Doyle administration Commerce Secretary, has announced he’s stepping down from his post. Gov. Doyle was quick to thank him for “attracting and retaining numerous businesses and creating thousands of jobs.”

But now the word is that Mr. Leinenkugel may announce that this mysterious thing he’s “tremendously excited” to pursue will be a run against U.S. Senator Russ Feingold. What’ doubly curious is that the former Doyle administration secretary will be running as a Republican, further crowding the Republican primary ticket. He would join Terrence “Terry” Wall and Dave Westlake as the third official candidate.

Former Bush II cabinet member TOMMY! Thompson is still soaking up the spotlight by not telling us whether or not he’ll run. If he does, he’d be the fourth.

So then, if Dick Leinenkugel does join the race, I have a few questions:

1) What would the Tea Party crowd think of Dick Leinenkugel, a former Doyle admin secretary, becoming a GOP candidate? So far, Dave Westlake is the only candidate in the Republican primary that has wedded himself to the Tea Party. It would be curious to see how it would be received if Dick Leinenkugel suddenly started wearing blaze orange shirts and calling for… whatever the Tea Partiers call far.

1a) According to WisPolitics, “Prior to his appointment to the Commerce post in September 2008, [Dick] Leinenkugel most recently served as the vice president of sales and marketing at the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. He joined the family business in 1987.” That company is now part of the South African corporation SABMiller. How does that compute in TP logic? (Is there such a thing?)

2) What would TOMMY! think? Not that it matters, really, but we’ll have one existing candidate with very high name recognition that may even rival TOMMY!‘s. Of course no one is quite the lobbyist like he was is.

3) You can ask Dave Westlake what he thinks of all this at the April 21st Drinking Liberally Milwaukee, where Dave will be the darling subject of discussion of the lefty drinking contingent for the evening. Who loves ya, Davey?

Zach at BB has more on this, as does PIP. And Cory has three even better questions about this. (I feel like a total newb some times compared to guys like these.) 🙂

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.