Key People-Former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R-WI)
updated June 29, 2007

THOMPSON PRESIDENTIAL EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE - 2008   filed to establish exploratory committee on Dec. 13, 2006

Campaign Manager Chad Olsen
(announced by the exploratory committee on Jan. 17, 2007)  Most recently has been running a small business in Panora with his wife.  Managed the Sukup for Governor primary campaign in 2002.  Political director on the Forbes 2000 Iowa caucus campaign.  Legislative liaison for State Auditor Dick Johnson.  Field staffer on Jim Ross Lightfoot's gubernatorial primary campaign in 1998.  Field staffer on Jim Ross Lightfoot's 1996 challenge to Sen. Tom Harkin.  Field staffer on Sen. Phil Gramm's 1996 Iowa caucus campaign.  Started on campaigns working on Pres. George H.W. Bush's 1992 re-election effort in Washington, DC.  B.A. in economics and political science from Boston University.

See Iowa page >>

Consultant Meridian Communications
(announced March 15, 2007)  Manchester, NH based firm co-founded by Michael Biundo and Jack Heath.

See New Hampshire page >>

Rod Hise
Treasurer of Thompson's Forward America PAC (formed Oct. 2006).  President of the Luminis Group, Ltd., a Madison-based consulting firm.  Vice president of corporate affairs at Third Wave Technologies, a publicly-traded biotechnology company.  Conducted survey research and provided communications counsel for corporate clients Executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Feb. 1998 to Dec. 2000.  Deputy press secretary and deputy communications director for Gov. Thompson from Feb. 1996-98.  Aide to Department of Administration head Jim Klauser, 1994-96.  Worked on Gov. Thompson's 1994 re-election campaign.
Political Director Darrin Schmitz
(announced by the exploratory committee on Jan. 24, 2007)  President of Persuasion Partners, Inc. (PPI), a national political consulting and direct mail firm based in Madison, WI.  Executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin in the 2004 cycle.  Managed Gov. Scott McCallum's unsuccessful campaign in 2002.  Executive director of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Wisconsin in 2000.  Press secretary to Gov. Thompson; deputy campaign manager and turnout director for Thompson's successful 1998 re-election campaign; speechwriter for Thompson.  From Wascott, WI.
Communications Director Tony Jewell
A managing director on the Strategy Team at Burson-Marsteller (announced June 2006).  Director of national public relations, for the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.  Deputy Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs for Policy and Strategy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), coordinating public affairs activities and strategies.  Press secretary for Gov. Thompson in Wisconsin.  Writer/editor for the Associated Press.  Studied journalism and history at Indiana University.
Finance Gateway Ventures, Inc.
Philip Prange, president of the Madison, WI firm, Dan Morris and Mary Heigi.

Chairman Jim Klauser
(announced Jan. 28, 2007)  Chairman of the Bush-Cheney 2004 Wisconsin campaign; co-chairman of George W. Bush for President–Wisconsin 2000.  General chairman, Thompson for Governor Committee, 1986-2000.  Senior Vice President of Wisconsin Energy Corporation starting in 1998 and a senior partner at the law firm DeWitt Ross & Stevens in Madison.  Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration, 1986-96.  Attorney and partner with DeWitt, Sundby, Huggett, Schumacher and Morgan, S.C. in Madison, 1980-86.  Klauser has earned three degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, obtaining his B.S. in 1961, J.D. in 1964, and M.A. in political science in 1968.

Copyright © 2006, 2007  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action