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LA CROSSE (WAOW) -
With one week to go until next week's U.S. Senate primary, former Gov. Tommy Thompson brought his campaign to La Crosse on Tuesday.
He was joined this morning by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Gingrich says he's endorsing Thompson for the seat and says Thompson was crucial to federal welfare reforms, which were kick-started by Thompson's policies in Wisconsin.
"I'm hoping that the people of Wisconsin will decide to pick somebody who has actually been their leader, represented them, lived here in the state, understands the problems, and has proven he can work in a bipartisan way," said Gingrich.
Thompson says his four terms as governor of Wisconsin make him not only the best candidate in the race, but also the most recognizable.
Also in La Crosse Tuesday was Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Neumann. The former congressman has been endorsed by the Tea Party Express and is now on its statewide bus tour.
Neumann says his conservative record in Congress makes him the most fiscal conservative in this race.
"I have 30 years in the private sector creating jobs, but I've also been in Congress before when we had a financial mess—much like today—we got the budget balanced, we cut taxes, and our economy was restored, so I have done this before," said Neumann.
Two other Republicans are on the ballot next Tuesday: businessman Eric Hovde and State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald.
Meantime, Sen. Ron Johnson says he knows which Republican candidate he'll be voting for, but he's not saying. At a Madison luncheon, Johnson says he doesn't want to make any endorsement for the GOP primary because he wants to give 100 percent of his support to the winner.
Johnson says while the primary campaign has been heated, it will ultimately help the candidate who survives it.
"Those issues, if they don't come up during the primary, they come up during the general election," said Johnson. "From my standpoint might as well get them out on the board so that Republican primary voters can hear the charges and the response from the candidates and make their choice."
Johnson says no matter who wins, that person will represent Wisconsin well.
The winner of the Republican primary will face off against the lone Democrat in the race, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.
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