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Russ Feingold named U.S. envoy to Congo

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin was named Tuesday morning as a U.S. envoy to a troubled region of Africa.

Secretary of State John Kerry announced Feingold’s appointment at a State Department media briefing in Washington.

Feingold headed the Senate Foreign Relations’ subcommittee on Africa when he served in the Senate from 1993 through 2010.

Kerry said Feingold would help U.S. efforts in what he called a “long-troubled region” in the Congo.

Kerry said the stakes in that part of the world are very significant – and when the two served together in the Senate, Kerry said Feingold was, “the leading advocate and expert on Africa.”

The nation’s top diplomat said there’s a need to help those involved in the conflicts find a path to peace, make those committing human rights abuses accountable, and break down barriers between humanitarian aid and civilians who need it.

Feingold was unseated by Republican Ron Johnson in 2010. Since then, he has written a book. He’s also been a visiting professor at Marquette, Lawrence of Appleton, and Stanford.

Assuming he serves through the rest of the Obama administration, Feingold would not be available to run for governor in 2014.

One poll earlier this year showed that Feingold would be the most likely Democrat to defeat Republican Governor Scott Walker.