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Mystery Candidate Leads to Walk-Out at Ames Straw Poll Land Auction

Comstock/Thinkstock(AMES, Iowa) -- Representatives of Republican candidates met Thursday in Ames, Iowa for, what is essentially a real estate auction, buying up the best pieces of the Hilton Coliseum at Iowa State University, where August's Ames Straw Poll will be held.

The presence of operatives who refuse to identify which candidate they work for, however, has led the representatives of the declared candidates to threaten to walk, tweeted Andy Parrish, a key player on Michele Bachmann’s campaign.

“At Ames land auction. One campaign refusing to ID themselves,” Parrish tweeted Thursday afternoon.

“All declared campaigns on their feet and agreed to walk from Ames auction until all campaigns say who they represent,” he continued on Twitter. The last of his tweets read, “All campaigns are now outside because one campaign will not say who they represent. All have agreed to walk.”

Sources tell ABC News the mystery candidate is Rep. Thad McCotter, R- Mich., an undeclared candidate.

The auction is a money-making venture for the Iowa Republican Party, which divides the venue and puts a value on each section where a candidate can set up shop to sway voters. Bidding starts at $15,000 and goes up from there.

Ames is located in the geographical center of the state and is Iowa’s most prominent Republican straw poll. This year’s event will be held Aug. 13.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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