WASHINGTON – Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) told his home-state paper that he’s considering a run for the Senate in 2012, which liberals are urging him to do.
“I am looking at it, but I feel I should take some time to think this through,” Feingold told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Thursday. “For me the question right now is whether it’s a good idea for me to go back into this sort of life.”
The former three-term senator, ousted by Republican businessman Ron Johnson last November, now helms the advocacy group Progressives United. In recent months Feingold has spoken out against his own party on campaign finance reform, an issue Feingold dedicated himself to as a senator.
“I’m enjoying everything I’m doing … I certainly don’t need to get back into politics,” he said. “I don’t know for sure whether I will, but … I’m certainly not ruling it out permanently and I’m not even ruling it out at this point for the current election cycle.”
Two surveys last week found Feingold in strong shape for the race, were he to run. He’s dominating among potential Democratic contenders, and comfortably leading all Republican hopefuls by at least ten points.
“I realize I have to come to grips with whether I would be a candidate for Senate in 2012 in the reasonably near future,” Feingold told the Sentinel, adding that whether or not he runs his “goal here is to make sure a Democrat wins this seat,” one who’s a “good representative of the progressive tradition in Wisconsin.”
The seat in play is being vacated by retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI).