neumannU.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., has yet to announce whether she’ll run for the Senate, but already a Republican challenger has emerged who sees her as his main competition.

Mark Neumann, a former Congressman who previously failed in statewide bids for the U.S. Senate and Wisconsin governor, announced today he’s once again running to represent the state in the U.S. Senate – this time to replace outgoing Sen. Herb Kohl.

As a staunch social conservative, Neumann’s record on LGBT issues contrasts sharply with Baldwin’s.  In 1996, Neumann said, “If I were elected God for a day, homosexuality wouldn’t be permitted.”  Years later he clarified the remark, explaining he would not want God’s job.

Neumann has also suggested he wouldn’t hire an openly gay staffer.  ”If somebody walks in to me and says, ‘I’m a gay person, I want a job in your office,’ I would say that’s inappropriate, and they wouldn’t be hired because that would mean they are promoting their agenda,” Neumann said in an address to the Christian Coalition.  ”The gay and lesbian lifestyle (is) unacceptable, lest there be any question about that.”

Neumann will likely face former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson in a battle for the Republican nomination, but already his campaign team is focusing its fire on Baldwin, the first and only openly lesbian member of Congress.

“I believe our opponent is Tammy Baldwin and I believe it is essential that we bring Tammy Baldwin’s record to the forefront,” Neumann said.