UPDATE: 2:00 a.m. At his campaign headquarters in Pewaukee, Eric Hovde told supporters Tuesday night that he was ending his political career, after just one campaign.
"Obviously this was not the outcome we hoped for," he said.
But he told the group that he was proud of what he and the other three Republican Senate candidates had accomplished and will still be a vocal spokesperson for the GOP.
Hovde said he is now backing for Governor Tommy Thompson, who will take on Democrat Tammy Baldwin in November.
"And he will have my support because folks, we cannot let Tammy Baldwin win," Hovde told the cheering crowd.
He said he's looking forward to spending time with his family now that he is out of the race.
UPDATE 10:45 p.m. GOP candidate Eric Hovde has conceded the Senate primary. Just before 10:30 p.m., the Associate Press called the race for former Governor Tommy Thompson.
UPDATE: 9:00 p.m. The polls have been closed for about an hour and election results are trickling into Hovde HQ. Supporters are very optimistic and think he has a lot of momentum.
Lots of people are wearing Hovde stickers and there are even a few Romney/Ryan shirts in the crowd.
Some are predicting this race will be called in a few hours, others think it will be decided quickly due to low voter turnout.
We will continue to update you from Eric Hovde's camp in Pewaukee throughout the night.
UPDATE 7:30 p.m. We're just minutes away from the polls closing in Wisconsin, and people are starting to arrive at the Marriott in Pewaukee for Eric Hovde's campaign party. Campaign officials have started to set up banners and are even handing out commemorative "Hovde for Senate" plastic cups to supporters.
The buzz among the news reporters is that polling locations have been fairly quiet throughout the day, but poll workers have seen a steady stream of voters.
Hovde's press secretary says the campaign is confident and optimistic that they were able to reach undecided voters in the past few days.
The media area has cleared out for now. Many crews headed out to get dinner or write new stories for later newscasts.
Stay tuned to Newsline 9 for election results as they roll in tonight. We will also have the latest from the Hovde campaign once a winner is announced in this Republican primary for U.S. Senate.
UPDATE: 4:30 p.m. Members of the media have started setting up inside the ballroom at the Marriott in Pewaukee ahead of Eric Hovde's campaign party. Leaders of Hovde's campaign say they're feeling good about this primary and are confident he will win today's race.
So many reporters and camera operators are in the ballroom, hotel staff had to bring out more risers to accommodate everyone.
Hovde and his supporters are expected to arrive around 8 o'clock tonight when the polls close. Stay with Newsline 9 for the latest election updates and check out @bshelton_waow on Twitter for the latest from the Hovde camp.
11:30 a.m. Four Republican candidates are vying to take on Democrat Tammy Baldwin for the chance to represent Wisconsin in the United States Senate. One of them: hedge fund manager and businessman Eric Hovde.
This is Hovde's first bid for office and the Republican race for the U.S. Senate seat has been negative at times. Candidates campaigning for the spot have openly attacked each other in debates, interviews and television ads.
Hovde told Newsline 9 last month that the attack ads running against him are "just a desperate attempt by one of my opponents to try and muddy me up and that's all it is."
He says he entered the race to try and bring fiscal responsibility to the Senate. He told a group of supporters Monday that his experience in the private sector will help him create jobs.
Although polls show Hovde's challenger, former Governor Tommy Thompson, with a slight lead going into today's primary, Hovde is putting up a strong fight. He hopes a final campaign push today will help secure a spot on the November ballot.
Hovde faces Tommy Thompson, Mark Neumann and Jeff Fitzgerald in today's primary election. The winner will face Democrat Tammy Baldwin in November.
Newsline 9's Bonnie Shelton will be in Waukesha throughout the day covering Hovde's campaign. You can follow her updates on Twitter @bshelton_waow or search #Newsline9 for the latest information.