Herb Kohl's advice to future senator: Don't be partisan
MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -
Spend just a few minutes with Herb Kohl, and it's obvious he's proud of his time as senator.
"I'm going to miss being the senator for the people of Wisconsin," said Kohl, a Democrat who has served in the U.S. Senate for 24 years. "It's been a great, great experience."
Now, as Kohl gets ready to exit, he's watching a battle brew over his seat. Democrat Tammy Baldwin and Republican Tommy Thompson are in a heated race. Libertarian candidate Joseph Kexel is also running.
"Tammy and Tommy will have a vigorous, vigorous debate," said Kohl.
Baldwin, a seven-term congresswoman from Madison, made a campaign stop Thursday in Wausau.
"I've spent my career in public service fighting for the people of this state," she said.
Thompson was out of state Thursday and unavailable to talk to us. But he did have plenty to say on Tuesday after winning the primary.
"I believe in what we're doing," said Thompson. "We are going to take America back."
Kohl says Baldwin has a tough road ahead against the well-known former governor. But he thinks the race will be close.
"Tommy is well-known because he's been the governor," said Kohl. "Tammy is in the process of becoming well-known."
He also hopes each candidate will rise above what's been a heated time in Wisconsin politics.
"I got a hunch that the candidate who does the best job at presenting himself or herself without being negative may wind up getting the edge in November," said Kohl.
No matter who wins, though, Kohl has one piece of advice.
"I found that if you're going to be a senator for the people of Wisconsin, you cannot be a huge partisan," he said. "If you do, you're not going to represent so much of Wisconsin that might be on the other side politically, but is totally legitimate. You have to be a person who puts that aside and recognizes and gets involved in the many, many diverse interests that characterize our state."
Kohl says he has plenty to do to keep him busy in his retirement from the Senate. That, of course, includes his ownership of the Milwaukee Bucks.