Republican private equity chief knocked out of US Senate race

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Hovde Private Equity founder Eric Hovde has failed in his bid for a place on the US Senate after being defeated by fewer than 150 votes.

The firm’s president and CEO, pictured, picked up 32.7 per cent of the vote in the Republican primary for Wisconsin, just behind winner Tommy Thompson on 34.5 per cent.

In a letter to voters on his website ericforsenate.com Hovde urged voters to get behind Thompson following the vote, as “the future of our nation is too important to let (Democrat) Tammy Baldwin become a US Senator”.

Hovde began a career in private equity in 1994 targeting community banks and thrift, and has since overseen 16 investments in financial services companies.

The firm’s 2005 Financial Services Partners Fund I has invested in five portfolio companies, including one failed bank, according to its website.

Those include Middlefield Banc Corp, Bay Bank, First Atlantic Bank, Sunwest Bank and Kinloch Holdings.

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