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Shirtless Republican US Senate candidate submerges himself in Wisconsin lake, issues challenge to opponent



This screen shot from cell phone video provided by Eric Hovde’s campaign shows the candidate for U.S. Senate shirtless in the cold waters of Lake Mendota in Madison, Wis. on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. He was hoping to show he’s more of a hardy Wisconsinite than a soft Californian. He also challenged his Democratic challenger, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, to take a cold plunge as well. (Eric Hovde via AP)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A shirtless candidate for U.S. Senate broke through the ice of a Madison lake Thursday hoping to pour cold water on any notion that he’s a soft Californian, not a hardy Wisconsinite.

And then Eric Hovde challenged his Democratic opponent, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, to take the plunge as well.

The multimillionaire Republican Hovde is trying to combat attacks from Baldwin and Democrats that he’s more Golden State than Dairy State.

Hovde was born and raised in Wisconsin, but also owns a $7 million estate in Laguna Beach, California, and is CEO of California-based H Bancorp and its primary subsidiary, Sunwest Bank.

Hovde posted on X on Thursday showing him pressing through what he says is about a half-inch layer of ice on Lake Mendota outside of a home he owns.

“It was hard to break through but it’s good to get out here for a good cold plunge,” Hovde says before he turns the camera on his shirtless torso.

“So the Dems and Sen. Baldwin keep saying I’m not from Wisconsin, which is a complete joke,” a laughing Hovde says into the camera. “Alright Sen. Baldwin, why don’t you get out here in this frozen lake and let’s really see who’s from Wisconsin.”

Wisconsin Democratic Party spokesperson Arik Wolk doubled down in the face of the challenge.

“If California bank owner Eric Hovde thinks sitting in a lake is going to stop us from telling Wisconsinites about his California bank, California megamansion, and California ties, he’s going to be swimming a whole lot for the next eight months,” Wolk said in a statement.

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  1. John Q Public

    March 1, 2024 at 5:33 am

    Strange how democrats tell so many lies about a Wisconsin resident when if you look at the congress make up of democrats the majority of them probably have businesses intrtests out side their states and it apoears the blithering idiot biden has business interests in other countries after Hunter addmitted to in….once again hypocrisy is a democrat value.

  2. Walden

    March 1, 2024 at 9:38 am

    WIZM seems to be enraptured by Hovde’s money as well as his chest hair.

    A Republican or independent has to be a millionaire these days to run for office because Democrat lawfare will cost so much money. The lawsuits are all about democracy of course; just ask former Dem Kennedy Jr, who is being sued multiple times.

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