WASHINGTON – Former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson (R) is poised to run for his state's open Senate seat in 2012, according to the National Journal's Major Garrett.

Thompson helmed the state between 1987 and 2001, before serving as Secretary of Health and Human Services during President George W. Bush's first term. He unsuccessfully ran for president in 2008.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (R) will not run for the seat to vacated by retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D), National Journal also reports.

Ryan is the chairman of the Budget Committee and author of the House-approved blueprint to privatize Medicare and cut taxes for high income earners, which all but four Republicans voted for. Though highly controversial, the measure has largely been embraced by the GOP as it pledges to drastically revamp the budget and shrink the size of government.

It's unclear whether Ryan could have won, but at a mere 41 years of age, he's emerged as a leading figure in the party.

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