Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold is up for re-election in 2004. The two-term Democrat is best known for his sponsorship of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, which is aimed at diminishing the role of money in politics.
He'll be running for a third term against former Army Ranger Tim Michels. In his successful primary run, Michels ran an ad that featured the World Trade Center on fire.
Republicans began holding fundraisers long before a candidate emerged. They're accusing Feingold of being out of step with Wisconsin voters on issues such as taxes and abortion and say his work on campaign finance has been for personal fame but had no impact on the lives of Wisconsinites.
Feingold was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992 and narrowly won re-election in 1998.
Pres. George Bush and Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry are both airing campaign ads on television in the state. Bush lost Wisconsin by just 5,700 votes in 2000 and has visited the state about a dozen times since he took office. This time around, it is expected to be a close race between Bush and Democrat John Kerry in the Badger State.
Democratic Rep. Jerry Kleczka is retiring from his 4th District Seat, which he has occupied for 20 years. Democrat Gwen Moore, a prominent black state senator and the first black woman elected to the state Senate is up against Republican Gerald Boyle, a Marine reservist who served in Iraq.
State Sen. Gary George, who has bucked his party, blown off the governor and boasted he's the greatest black politician Wisconsin has ever known, became the second state senator to be recalled in seven years. The Milwaukee Democrat lost to state Rep. Spencer Coggs, a fellow Milwaukee Democrat, in a recall primary in October. The winner became the only candidate on the Nov. 18 general election ballot, almost assuring him the seat. George had been in office for nearly 23 years.
George had asked multiple courts to stop or delay the election, arguing his opponents didn't have enough valid recall signatures, used felons to collect names and didn't correctly fill out the recall forms.
In the 2002 elections, Democrat Jim Doyle defeated Governor Scott McCallum in a race marked by negative TV ads to end 16 years of GOP governorship.