J.B. Van Hollen (R)

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline)-Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen may face a challenge from former Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Hassett.

Hasset said Wednesday he is being encouraged to seek the Democratic nomination for attorney general, which would pit him against Van Hollen, a Republican, in the 2010 general election.

"I'm obviously talking to a lot of people, looking for support and considering what has to be done in terms of raising money and hiring staff," Hassett told The Associated Press in an interview.

As for critiquing Van Hollen's performance in his first term as the state's chief legal officer, Hassett said he was not prepared to do that just yet.

"I think I bring something to the table, and that's quite a bit of experience," he was quoted by AP as saying. "It would be a fascinating and challenging job."

Hassett was Gov. Jim Doyle's natural resources secretary from 2003 to 2007. Before taking the cabinet position, he worked at the Lawton & Cates law firm in Madison.

Hassett's last run for public office was in 1982, when he narrowly lost to Russ Feingold in a Democratic primary for the state Senate.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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