Hovde defends California connections, questions Baldwin’s California fundraising



(The Center Square) – Some of the first questions about Wisconsin’s race for U.S. Senate are about California.

Democrats hammered businessman Eric Hovde about his banks and home in California.

“California bank owner Eric Hovde is running for Senate to impose his self-serving agenda, putting ultra-rich people like himself ahead of middle-class Wisconsinites,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Arik Wolk said in a statement.

Democrats also accuse Hovde of living in California, and only returning to Wisconsin to run for office.

Hovde, who announced he is running for the U.S. Senate, on Wednesday told News Talk 1130 WISN’s Jay Weber that’s ridiculous.

“I’m a fourth generation Wisconsinite. I was born here, raised here. I’m a proud Badger, went to University of Wisconsin,” Hovde said. “After my daughter graduated and having a business and my banks spread through the West – I’d actually moved the headquarters out of California to Salt Lake – I finally said I’m tired of living at a hotel every time I go visit my bank, so I bought a home. [But] I live in Wisconsin. I pay my taxes in Wisconsin, which by the way they know.”

Hovde then went on to question Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s California connections.

“They know Tammy Baldwin has always raised the bulk of her money from California and New York City, so what they try to do is confuse it, and attack me and try to say I’m ‘Mr California’ because they’re trying to take the spotlight off of her,” Hovde said.

Hovde said this year’s race for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin could easily be a $100 million race.

Republicans, both in Wisconsin and at the national level, like Hovde because he can self-fund some of that $100 million.

Hovde did not say how much of his own money he is willing to spend, but said he’s prepared to make “a big personal commitment.”

As for the issues, Hovde said his focus will be on the economy, the southern border and highlight how Wisconsin is worse now than it was just a few years ago.

Hovde also said he’d like to find a way to end the divisiveness in Washington, D.C.

“We’ve got to stop the name calling on the other side. Calling half of America deplorables because they didn’t vote for you it’s not constructive,” Hovde said. “We have big challenges in our country, and we have to come together.”

Another Republican, Trempealeau County board member Stacey Klein is also running against Baldwin. But her bid is considered a long shot.

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