Ed Thompson may well have been the brother of former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson but he carved out his own political legacy over the past decade. It’s with great sadness that he recently died of cancer. Admitting such last year during the middle of a campaign cost him a state Senate seat but attested the honesty and decency of the man.
Thompson had quite live quite a life, from a Vegas card dealer to a prize fighter to a trucker to bar owner and even a jailbird, and he brought his real world experience to politics. Starting as the owner of a popular supper club in Tomah, Wisconsin all the way to mayor, he ran for governor in 2002 on the LP line and gained the most votes for a non-major party candidate in Wisconsin in more than half a century. Ed Thompson’s biggest political legacy is bringing decentralist ideals down from the academic and hipster and cosmo realm of most libertarians to the masses. He was a precursor of the Ron Paul campaign.
Rest in Peace to a good man who fought the good fight.