Feingold to be special envoy to Central Africa

Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., makes his concession speech to his supporters Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, in Middleton, Wis., after loosing to Republican challenger Ron Johnson for the Wisconsin U.S. Senate seat. (AP Photo/Joe Koshollek) Former senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) in November 2010. (Joe Koshollek/AP)

Former senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) is set to be named the State Department's special envoy to Central Africa.

Feingold lost reelection in 2010 to now-Sen. Ron Johnson (R) and since then has been running a liberal advocacy group called Progressives United. His move to the State Department was rumored last month.

He will specifically serve in the Great Lakes region of Africa, where a war continues to rage between rebels and the government of Congo.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's subcommittee on African Affairs, praised Feingold's selection.

“Sen. Feingold is a superb choice for the first U.S. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region," Coons said. "Over the last decade, there was no more passionate advocate in the Senate for responsible and constructive U.S. engagement in sub-Saharan Africa."

Coons last month called for a special envoy to deal with the situation in Congo.

Feingold is considered a potential candidate for a rematch with Johnson in 2016, when the outspoken conservative senator will undoubtedly be a top GOP target.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



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