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UWRF alumnus runs for office

September 21, 2006

A UW-River Falls alum has taken up the challenge of running against Rep. Kitty Rhoades for the Wisconsin Assembly.

Despite his age, Dan Gorman, a 22-year-old Democrat from Elkorn, Wis., decided last April to run against Rhoades for the seat of representative for the 30th Assembly District. This District includes the towns of Hudson and River Falls.

“I saw a need for change in the direction the state of Wisconsin was going,” he said.

Gorman has lived in River Falls for more than four years, and graduated last May with a degree in business and financing. Although political science was not his focus in college, he has had running for office on his mind for quite some time.

“It’s been on my mind since I came to college,” Gorman said.

Political science wasn’t part of his college curriculum, but Gorman sees his background in business and finance as a big help to his campaign.
“I can manage my own books and count my own money,” he said, “I don’t need anybody to help me with my finances.”

Gorman’s campaign focuses on many issues, including a “progressive economic development plan, which is a plan that says that education must be affordable and accessible,” he said.

He has also noticed a trend in the government trying to pass laws in order to change destructive behavior among people. He sees that as a negative way of dealing with societal problems.  He notes the anti-abortion laws and talks of stopping distribution of certain contraceptives.
“Laws really don’t change behavior,” Gorman said.

His campaign is funded through private contributors only. He accepts donations of $100 or less.

“I dislike seeing big money in politics,” he said.

Gorman went on to say that he feels the need to live up to the ethics part of his campaign and not focus on the money.

He has spent a lot of time going to different neighborhoods that are a part of District 30, knocking on doors to tell people what he is all about. He feels that his campaign is going very well, though some of the people who have answered the door have been a little skeptical about his age.

“Sometimes I hear things like, ‘You look a little young to be running,'” Gorman said.

To this, he responds that that there is a long list of people who have run for this office, both old and young.

“It is more important to judge a candidate on the issues that they are campaigning for rather than how old they are,” Gorman said.
Rhoades, a republican and UW-RF alum, has held the District 30 seat since 1998.

“I have kids a little bit older than Dan. I think it is great that young people are getting involved in the political process,” Rhoades said. “It sure beats complacency.”

Gorman did not have any primary opposition so his name will be on the Nov. 7 ballot.