Eric Hovde’s No Good Very Bad Campaign Launch

Feb 20, 2024

Eric Hovde’s No Good Very Bad Campaign Launch

MADISON, Wis. — Today, California bank owner Eric Hovde (R–Laguna Beach) officially announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate, and the campaign launch hasn’t gone well for him.

From getting caught trying to stash a $2.3 million house to forgetting to mention Wisconsin (the state he’s running in) in his opening advertisement, to a constant stream of attention on his California lifestyle and reporting highlighting his out of touch positions on the Affordable Care Act and reproductive freedoms, Hovde must be questioning why he left the comfort of his  $7 million Laguna Beach mansion.

See below for a roundup of Hovde’s hiccups on the first day of his campaign:

  • On the morning that Eric Hovde launched his Senate campaign, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel detailed how Hovde only comes to Wisconsin when he wants to run for political office and how he’s trying to hide his out-of-state ties.

  • Then, Hovde released a campaign launch ad, and got called out for never mentioning Wisconsin:

  • And coverage of his campaign launch highlighted his California ties and out-of-touch positions, like banning abortion and repealing the Affordable Care Act.

    • AP: “He campaigned as a supporter of overturning the Affordable Care Act, the national health care law signed by former President Barack Obama, an abortion opponent and supporter of overturning Roe v. Wade… He is CEO of Sunwest Bank, has appeared in television commercials for them that air out west, and owns a $7 million estate in Laguna Beach, California”

    • NBC: “Baldwin’s allies have also spent the past several months highlighting the fact that Hovde was in 2018 named as one of Orange County’s most influential people.”

    • Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Notice that his first ad and tweet make no mention of WI.”

    • Washington Examiner: “But his ties to California — he owns a home and California bank in the state — could also prove to be a liability for him. Wisconsin Democrats welcomed him to the race by painting him as an out-of-touch elite who is more interested in raising taxes and restricting abortion access than serving the needs of voters.

    • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “The move to transfer the property came three months after the Journal Sentinel reported that Hovde and his wife had paid nearly $7 million in 2018 to buy a luxurious hillside estate in Laguna Beach, California — more than three times what Hovde paid for his Madison house on Lake Mendota. Hovde, a banker and real estate mogul, leads financial institutions in Wisconsin and California.”

    • National Review: “Democrats working to reelect her have spent several months preparing for Hovde’s launch, and plan to open the entire cycle characterizing him as an out of touch millionaire who owns a bank and multi-million-dollar home in Southern California.”

    • New York Times: “A spokesman for the Wisconsin Democratic Party said in a statement that Mr. Hovde would put “ultrarich people like himself ahead of middle-class Wisconsinites” and would vote to ban abortion, cut Social Security benefits and repeal the Affordable Care Act… Both responses also hit on a point that Democrats are likely to hammer in the coming months: Mr. Hovde owns property, and has intermittently lived, in California.”

    • Daily Kos: “GOP’s new Senate recruit in Wisconsin won’t say how much time he actually spends there”

    • DK Elections: “The NRSC has recruited a lot of rich people with dubious ties to the state they’re running in, but #WISEN’s Eric Hovde, who was named one of the 500 most influential people in Orange County, California, *still* manages to stand out.”

    • Senator Tina Smith: “Can’t say I’m surprised this California bank owner didn’t even say the word “Wisconsin” in his campaign announcement.”

All this and Hovde hasn’t even taken the stage at his launch event yet.