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That's hot! Roseville man among sizzling spouses

Hunky hubby makes Redbook list
By: Nathan Donato-Weinstein The Press-Tribune
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Roseville resident Tommy Rudig was at work one day last month when he received a text message from his wife, Allison, informing him that he was, well, a hunk. That might not be anything out of the ordinary for a young couple in love. But this was a few weeks before Valentine's Day, and Allison had it on some pretty good “ and unbiased “ authority. Tommy, 29, had been selected as one of 24 finalists in the Redbook magazine 2008 Hot Husbands contest “ something that came as some surprise as he was unaware he was in the running. He was like, ˜you did what?!' said Allison, who entered her husband months ago and pretty much forgot about it herself. Then, he slowly got excited about it. And now he's talking about it. He's flattered. I never thought I was a bad looking guy, but I'm pretty shocked, honestly, Tommy, a forklift operator, said. I mean, I'm up there with these models and firefighter guys. Indeed. Tommy's smiling face beams from the bottom left corner of a matrix of comely bridegrooms on Redbook's Hot Husbands Web site, where a click gets visitors a short bio and invitation to vote for the stud of their choice. The contest is a kind of souped-up version of the magazine's monthly Hot Husbands match, carrying with it the distinctive buzz for the entire duration of 2008. Voting runs through March 15, and promises the winning hubby and his family an eight-day vacation to Tahiti, as well as a whole lot of bragging rights. But for Allison, submitting her husband for the contest was about more than showing off her man's attractive assets. It was also about recognizing his strength of character that carried them through a tough few years when they were starting out. The couple met eight years ago amid a hardly romantic backdrop “ a bar, on the same night Allison had broken up with someone she was then dating. I asked him that night if he would marry me and he said, ˜sure, why not?' she said. Who knew? The first major adjustment came six years ago, shortly before their wedding, when the couple's newborn son, Blake, was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Tommy rose to the challenge of caring for a special-needs child, Allison said, putting his college plans on hold to take a job that allowed him to shuttle Blake to the numerous daytime therapy appointments. Tommy was just so proud and happy to have Blake as his son, and he always puts Blake first, Allison writes on the Web site. Soon after Blake was born, and as the couple was planning to wed, Tommy was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He's now cancer free, enduring surgery and radiation to get there. He did everything by himself, and never said ˜poor me, why is this happening to me?' Allison, an insurance agent, said in an interview. Those kind of character traits, she said, aren't of the type that are normally thought of in terms of spousal sizzle, but they are definitely hot. I think as you get older it's not all about the outside; there's a lot more, she said, adding that's why she believes Redbook editors chose Tommy to be among the finalists. Still, Tommy's friends and co-workers know a good opening when they see one. It's fun but it's got its goods and bads, Tommy said. It's cool to be telling people about it, but my buddies give me a hard time. They'll say, ˜Oh, we've got a celebrity now¦' But it's not in a bad way. Neither are counting on McCain-style frontrunner status, although Allison has launched a campaign of sorts to inform friends and business associates of the contest in hopes of encouraging voting. Should Tommy win, there will likely be national press exposure (the magazine alone boasts a circulation of 2.4 million). Asked whether she was prepared to reveal her husband's charms to the entire country, Allison answered an unambiguous yes. I totally want to share this with everyone, she said. He deserves it. To vote for Tommy, go to http://www.redbookmag.com/love/hot-husbands/