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8/13/2012 3:20:00 PM
Thompson makes pre-election visit to Minocqua
Presses flesh with Northwoods residents, business owners; Joe the Plumber with him
Paul Bunyan owner John Tonne (right in photo) makes a point to Thompson outside the popular restaurant. Thompson also stopped outside Trig's for quite some time greeting shoppers visiting the Minocqua store owned by Trig Solberg.
Joe Handrick photograph
Paul Bunyan owner John Tonne (right in photo) makes a point to Thompson outside the popular restaurant. Thompson also stopped outside Trig's for quite some time greeting shoppers visiting the Minocqua store owned by Trig Solberg.

Joe Handrick photograph
Lakeland Times Managing Editor Ray Rivard (right) greets Gov. Tommy Thompson during his visit to The Lakeland Times Monday, while Times Publisher Gregg Walker looks on.
Contributed photograph
Lakeland Times Managing Editor Ray Rivard (right) greets Gov. Tommy Thompson during his visit to The Lakeland Times Monday, while Times Publisher Gregg Walker looks on.

Contributed photograph
Polls open at 7 a.m.
The Fall Primary Election will be held Tuesday, Aug. 14. Polls across the Lakeland area are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Former governor and U.S. Senate Republican candidate Tommy Thompson made several stops in Minocqua early Monday, Aug. 13, during a statewide tour to see as many electors as possible during the last day of campaigning before tomorrow's Fall Primary Election.

One of those stops was at Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty. Paul Bunyan owner John Tonne (right in photo) makes a point to Thompson outside the popular restaurant. Thompson also stopped outside Trig's for quite some time greeting shoppers visiting the Minocqua store owned by Trig Solberg.

Joe the Plumber

Thompson was also joined by Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, who gained national notoriety in the 2008 Presidential Election. During a campaign stop in Ohio in 2008, he was videotaped asking then-presidential candidate Barack Obama about his tax policy and how it would affect small businesses. Obama responded, "when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody." Obama's response caught the attention of conservative commentators, as well as by Obama's rival Sen. John McCain who used the exchange during arguments in a national debate. He made many appearances with McCain and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin during the final weeks of the 2008 campaign and has continued to use his notoriety to help endorse Republican candidates across the nation.

When asked by The Lakeland Times what brought him to Minocqua, he replied, "Well, Tommy (Thompson) first of all, but I am familiar with this area. I love to come here fishing." He didn't qualify his statement on whether he would be staying to enjoy the Lakeland area or continuing on with Thompson.

Thompson, Joe the Plumber and the entourage also made a stop at The Lakeland Times to meet and greet staff before departing town.

Election, polls

Latest polls have shown that nearly 1 in 5 potential voters have not yet decided for which of the four candidates running for the Republican nomination that they will cast their ballot - Thompson, Eric Hovde, Mark Neumann, and Jeff Fitzgerald.

In a poll conducted about a week ago and reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Thompson had a slight lead over Hovde in what was being called a "potentially volatile" race because there are so many undecided voters.

The story, published five days ago showed "Thompson had 28 percent of likely primary voters, Hovde had 20 percent, Neumann had 18 percent and Fitzgerald had 13 percent. A large chunk of those polled - 21 percent - remained undecided, underscoring the unpredictability of the race."





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