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Wisconsin U.S. Senate Race Roundup: July 23

Here are the latest updates from the campaign trail in the race to be the next U.S. senator from Wisconsin.

Leading up to the Aug. 14 primary, Patch will regularly bring you the latest news from the campaigns for Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seat in play this election cycle.

Thompson to rally with Ted Nugent

Former governor Tommy Thompson is teaming up with rocker Ted Nugent, a vocal critic of President Barack Obama, for a campaign rally Thursday in Sturtevant.

"I am proud to have Ted Nugent, a relentless conservative icon, as part of my U.S. Senate campaign team," Thompson said in a press release. "Nugent's enthusiasm for everything he does, including his music, outdoor passions and politics will provide a source of much-appreciated-enthusiasm that the campaign can build upon with less than three weeks left before the August 14th primary."

The rally will be held at 4 p.m. at Fountain Banquet Hall in Sturtevant.

Thompson decries Hovde's 'pay-to-play' politics

As tension continues to build in the GOP primary,Thompson is continuing attacks on candidate Eric Hovde over his monetary contribution to former governor Jim Doyle.

After a , the Thompson campaign issued a press release and a new radio ad Monday morning highlighting Hovde's claim on the Charlie Sykes show that he "capitulated" to Doyle and made a $500 donation.

"Eric Hovde claims in his ads to be an outsider but now he admits to being part of an old style pay-to-play politics," the press release said. "If Hovde couldn't withstand a little pressure from Jim Doyle, how could he possibly be expected to stand up the liberals in Washington?"

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On the Sykes' radio show on 620 WTMJ, Hovde said the contribution followed as a result of his involvement in the Madison real estate industry:

Yes, in 2005 I gave a contribution — a very small contribution — probably done because I was being hit up and strong-armed by Doyle. I'm a big property owner in downtown Madison, and Doyle would always strong arm the real estate community every single year for contributions.

The Hovde campaign shot back Monday with a press release responding to what they called Thompson's "baseless" attacks. Calling Hovde a "conservative businessman and political outsider," they also blasted Thompson for launching an attack ad campaign a day after  to Thompson and Mark Neumann, calling for an end to the attacks.

Hovde's busy schedule restricted voting

Following a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report that he only voted in two of 11 elections while he lived in Washington, Hovde defended his record, citing a busy travel itinerary and a lack of D.C. conservatives to his liking.

The Journal Sentinel reported that he only voted in the two elections — the 2004 and 2008 general presidential elections — during his time in Washington. While the other candidates feel he didn't fulfill his civic duty, Hovde said he had other duties to worry about.

"I'm a person that's spent 75 percent of my life in an airplane, flying around the U.S., flying around the globe," Hovde told the Journal Sentinel. "You know a lot of what I've been up to. I built homeless shelters for street kids in Kigali, Rwanda; Mombasa, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; Mexico City; Huanuco, Peru."

Wisconsin Dems' video: Hovde a 'serial mudslinger'

In a new YouTube video released Monday, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin calls out Hovde for "mudslinging" while blasting other GOP candidates for doing the same.

The video, titled "Different Rules," asserts that Hovde holds his fellow candidates to different standards than those which he applies to himself.

According to a Monday press release about the video, the Democrats say it is "shining the light on the negative attacks that Washington D.C. hedge fund manager Eric Hovde has made against his Republican U.S. Senate opponents even while he trying to claim he is running a positive campaign."

Check back at Patch.com for more updates on the Senate race.

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