Wisconsin Republican Senate candidate chose out-of-state NCAA champion.  

Washington, DC – Eric Hovde, a Republican businessman from Wisconsin, is running for senator. The NCAA basketball tournament champion, nevertheless, is an Indiana squad that he has selected. "In the end, Purdue is just too tough and will rip the nets in Phoenix," Hovde wrote Thursday on 

The University of Wisconsin alum is seen sporting a UW pullover in the picture. She is running against Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin in one of the most watched Senate battles in the country.

No matter the odds, politicians always enjoy brag about their NCAA tournament brackets when their home-state team wins it all. On Tuesday, Democratic Governor Tony Evers shared his bracket, which predicts that Wisconsin will defeat Marquette and go on to win the tournament. You can know that I've got our @BadgerMBB covered," Evers wrote in his post.

"The Badgers and Marquette make good runs too," Hovde says, referring to the two Wisconsin teams competing in the tournament. The Milwaukee Marquette basketball team reaches the Final Four but falls to Purdue, and he predicts that Wisconsin will lose in the Sweet 16 to Houston.

Attempts have been made by Democrats to portray Hovde as disconnected from Wisconsin. Hovde is the chief executive officer of H Bancorp and Sunwest Bank, two California-based financial institutions. He was born and brought up in Wisconsin, yet he also owns a $7 million California estate.

Before Baldwin challenged Hovde to go shirtless in a Madison lake, Hovde attempted to establish his Wisconsin credentials in a similar fashion. She chose not to. Baldwin has maintained her support for Marquette and the Badgers while not disclosing her bracket.

The people of Wisconsin can always be trusted by Tammy Baldwin," stated Andrew Mamo, who is serving as her campaign spokeswoman. "When Wisconsin and Marquette meet in the Elite 8, she'll be rooting for the victor to win and bring down the nets in Arizona." The choice of Purdue, which Wisconsin defeated in the Big 10 Tournament, was upheld by Hovde spokesman Ben Voelkel.

Unlike some career politicians, Eric Hovde doesn't "pander," according to Voelkel. He enjoys watching basketball. The Boilermakers have a fantastic shot at beating one of the top teams in the nation, Purdue, if they continue to receive calls similar to those they received in the Big Ten Tournament.

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