Herschel Walker’s Nominating as Wisconsin’s Junior Senator

Herschel Walker’s Nominating as Wisconsin’s Junior Senator

Granderson: Herschel Walker’s candidacy is more interesting now that Senate control is decided

This story appears in the Fall 2011 issue of Chicago magazine. Subscribe today.

Herschel Walker’s nomination as Wisconsin’s junior senator seems increasingly possible now that his rival, the Democratic incumbent Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, has decided to run, a source close to Walker and a longtime political observer of Walker’s campaign confirmed to BuzzFeed News. With the help of a pro-Walker super PAC, Walker is gearing up for a tough battle that he believes he and Feingold share a common vision for the state, one that appeals to voters outside the heavily Democratic Milwaukee suburbs.

Walker has been a longtime friend of Feingold, whom he knew in college and went to high school with. They have worked together as legislative aides in Madison; Walker, who is gay, was elected lieutenant governor in 1996, and in 2000 Walker’s father died at the age of 70. Feingold, a liberal Democrat who served eight years in the state legislature and founded the state’s first statewide gay rights organization in 1990, began his career on the conservative edge. He worked for Republican governors Scott Walker in Wisconsin, William Proxmire in Michigan and John Kasich in Ohio before being elected to the state senate in 1998. Feingold was elected to the U.S. House in 2004, where he served for three terms.

The two senators, who are both running in a special August primary election, are in striking contrast on issues such as climate change and healthcare. Feingold is against Obamacare, while Walker backs it. The candidates share a sharp conservative worldview on fiscal policy and social issues. Walker has been endorsed by Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, Sarah Palin, John McCain and Sen. Rand Paul, while Feingold has been endorsed by President Barack Obama, Bob Dole, Sarah Palin and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

The conservative Wisconsin Club for Growth, which helped bankroll Walker’s primary challenge to Feingold, initially supported Walker’s campaign. But it later switched to Feingold’s

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