Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson will be receiving stock options for a previously uncompensated corporate board position.
Thompson -- who has come under fire from Democrats for accepting a series of health-related corporate posts since stepping down as U.S. health and human services secretary in 2005 -- will receive 75,000 shares in TherapeuticsMD, a Florida-based health care company he became board chairman of earlier this year, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
In May, a Thompson spokesman told The Huffington Post that the job was uncompensated and that Thompson would step down from the post and other corporate board seats if elected to the Senate.
Thompson's spokeswoman, Lisa Boothe, told the Journal-Sentinel that the compensation changed and said Thompson may not exercise the stock options.
The options don't vest, however, until Dec. 31.
Boothe emphasized that Thompson may never exercise the options.
"The stock option grant you reference is a grant of unvested stock options which is not income," Boothe said. "In addition, Governor Thompson as previously noted will resign from all boards and so, the restrictions on these options may never be satisfied and thus, forfeited."
But if Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor defeats Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D), he would not take office until Jan. 3.
Thompson's corporate involvements have become an issue in the race, with Democrats accusing him of using his post as health secretary under President George W. Bush to profit in the private sector. Since leaving the cabinet, Thompson has worked as a lawyer and as a lobbyist with firm in Washington, D.C. He has also been involved with a variety of corporate boards, primarily in the health care industry. Thompson has served as a board chairman, director or advisory board chairman for more than 20 companies, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
TherapeuticsMD is a drug manufacturer focused on women's health, including pregnancy and menopause drugs, along with dietary supplements.
Thompson's other corporate involvements included chairing the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and being an operating partner at MTS Health Investors, a New York-based private equity firm. MTS continues to list Thompson as an operating partner on it's website.
Thompson and Baldwin are locked in a heated battle for Kohl's Senate seat. Polls have shown the two tied or Baldwin with a slight lead, with a HuffPost Pollster overview of polling showing Baldwin with a three-point lead over Thompson.
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