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Eric Hovde gives the toast at the Presidential Dinner hosted by the Milwaukee County Republican Party at Serb Hall in Milwaukee.(Photo: Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo

MADISON –  Investor and potential GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde has sold more than $14 million worth of stock in a single company since November, raising questions about whether he's preparing to self-fund his second statewide campaign.

Hovde, a Madison developer and banker, spent more than $5 million of his own money in the 2012 Republican primary for U.S. Senate. 

Hovde came in second in that race, nearly besting former Gov. Tommy Thompson —  one of the state's most successful politicians of the past generation. And the businessman actually did beat two other more established politicians — former congressman Mark Neumann and then-Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald. 

"He made a very respectable run last time," said Mark Graul, a GOP strategist who has run statewide campaigns for other candidates.

Gov. Scott Walker issued in March an executive order that directs state agencies to track and post their response times to records requests and, like a similar order last year, gives procedural guidance that should make it easier for citizens to request and receive records, says April Barker of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.(Photo: John Hart, Associated Press)

WISCONSIN DELLS – U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Saturday he would be troubled if President Donald Trump had taped his FBI director, but also raised the prospect that the top law enforcement official may have made secret recordings.

“That’d be troubling, sure,” Johnson said of the notion that Trump had recorded James Comey, the FBI director Trump fired Tuesday.

Johnson made his comments to reporters at the Chula Vista Resort, where he was chairing the state GOP convention. There, Republicans celebrated their 2016 victories and cheered on Gov. Scott Walker as he laid the groundwork to run for a third term.

Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.(Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

WISCONSIN DELLS – U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said he would be troubled if President Donald Trump had taped his FBI director, but also raised the prospect that the law enforcement official may have made secret recordings.

“That’d be troubling, sure,” Johnson said of the notion that Trump had recorded James Comey, the FBI director who Trump fired on Tuesday.

The Republican senator from Oshkosh called that idea hypothetical, telling reporters at the Wisconsin Republican Party convention that Trump had “said that Comey had better not have recorded him.”

When a reporter noted that others have interpreted a tweet by Trump to mean that the president may have recorded the conversation, Johnson replied: “That’s kind of how I – whatever. I don’t want to keep talking about hypotheticals and other suspicions. Let’s wait for the Senate Intelligence Committtee to complete their work (on Russian interference with the 2016 election) and then see if there is then further action required on either my (Homeland Security) Committee or on the part of the United States Senate.

Gov. Scott Walker issued in March an executive order that directs state agencies to track and post their response times to records requests and, like a similar order last year, gives procedural guidance that should make it easier for citizens to request and receive records, says April Barker of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.(Photo: John Hart, Associated Press)

WISCONSIN DELLS - With his re-election plans clearer than ever, Gov. Scott Walker on Saturday said Wisconsin has reached new heights because Republicans have controlled the state for the past six years.

"Under Republican leadership, Wisconsin is a top 10 state," he said at the state Republican Party convention at the Chula Vista Resort. 

He cited the state's rankings for ACT scores, high school graduation rate, percentage of people in the workforce, reducing the tax burden and place to do business. 

"We are now a top 10 state because we were not afraid to go big and go bold," he said.

Police siren(Photo: File/USA TODAY NETWORK/Wisconsin)

A Good Samaritan spotted a man and a woman struggling to get to shore after tipping their kayaks in Geneva Lake and was able to help the woman safely to shore, officials said Friday.

 

The Good Samaritan called 911 about 6:30 p.m. Thursday and waded into the lake to help, said Jason Roberts, a conservation warden with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The 22-year-old man disappeared beneath the surface and drowned in the 54-degree water. His body was recovered by divers about an hour later. His identity will be released by the Walworth County Medical Examiner's Office once next-of-kin has been notified.

The two were relatively new to the sport and borrowed recreational kayaks from a family friend, which are more suited for calm, slow-moving water, not the cold water and rough conditions found on Geneva Lake, Roberts said.

When the 22-year-old man fell in the water, he signaled to the woman for help and tried to climb into her kayak and tipped her in, according to Roberts.