The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

On second attempt, Moulton gets to Madison

Kathlyn Hotynski

Editor’s note: This is the fourth and final article in a series profiling state legislators in the Chippewa Valley.

Before he first ran for public office in 2002, state Rep. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls laughed at the idea of becoming a politician.

Now, Moulton is serving his second term in the state Assembly and is the only incumbent from the Chippewa Valley to keep his seat in the 2006 election.

“As a small business owner, I was frustrated with some of the things going on in government and thought to myself, ‘if I’m going to be frustrated, I might as well do something about it,’ ” Moulton said.

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After losing in his first attempt in 2002, Moulton said he thought about calling it quits, but said because the race had been so close, people came to him before the 2004 election, wanting him to run.

“Being a legislator is a stressful thing, not only on the people in the position, but also on the people in the family,” Moulton said. “Had my family not been 100 percent on board, I wouldn’t have done it.”

After almost 20 years of experience in the health care business, Moulton left St. Joseph’s hospital in Chippewa Falls in 1986 to capitalize on one of his lifelong passions – lure manufacturing.

Not long after, he started Mouldy’s Archery & Tackle, 2863 S. Prairie View Rd., Chippewa Falls, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2006. Moulton said he decided to take the two hobbies and put them together to start a business.

“Early in my childhood, I had a fascination with fishing,” Moulton said. “In my teen years, I thought I could make some money making fishing lures.”

In 1976, Moulton made and marketed his first lure, the red, white and blue Yankee Doodle Dandy, and two years later launched his now-“world-famous” Hawg Wobbler. He continues to sell the product to musky anglers across the nation and internationally with customers in Europe and Japan, he said.

As of January, Moulton is the new chairman for the Assembly’s Small Business Committee, and said he is looking forward to “creating a regulatory climate for small business to operate under.”

Moulton also said he wants to focus on other issues, such as health-care and the creation of electronic record-keeping systems for doctors and patients.

Junior Tom Burton, chairman of UW-Eau Claire’s College Republicans, said he first met Moulton just before the 2002 election.

“I’d say he is optimistic, outgoing and personable, and if you meet him and talk to him, he always has a story or a joke to tell,” Burton said.

Describing Moulton not as a “professional politician,” but rather as a businessman and grandfather who was “compelled to do public service,” Burton said he thinks it is this “outsider” approach that contributed to Moulton’s re-election.

“It’s good because he’s got that perspective,” Burton said. “I think that people in the Valley benefit from that.”

Moulton agreed.

“I don’t like to think of myself of as a politician,” he said. “I’d rather see myself as a citizen legislator.”

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