MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A moderate in the Wisconsin Senate is thinking about running as an independent.
Republican Dale Schultz of Richland Center was already facing a primary challenge from conservative Representative Howard Marklein.
Tuesday, Ernie Wittwer announced his candidacy as a Democrat for Schultz's seat. Wittwer spent two dozen years in the state Transportation Department, and was once the agency's budget director.
Long-time Schultz aide Todd Allbaugh said his boss is still deciding whether to run next fall -- and if so, he's deciding whether to shed his GOP label.
Through the end of June, Marklein raised $116,000 this year to Schultz's $684.
Schultz has spent three decades in the Legislature. He angered conservatives in 2012, when he cast the deciding vote that killed the bill which paved the way for Gogebic Taconite's proposed iron ore mine.
Last November, Republicans increased their Senate majority from one vote to three with the election of conservative Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac. They then passed the mining bill despite Schultz's opposition -- along with a conservative budget Schultz voted against.