U grad to take a second shot at House of Representatives

Ole Hovde will challenge Phyllis Kahn for her seat in District 59B.

by Raghav Mehta

Despite being defeated in 2008 by more 40 percent of the vote, University of Minnesota alumnus Ole Hovde is taking another shot at the Minnesota House of Representatives. Hovde, who graduated from the University in 2009, is campaigning for a seat in District 59B, which has been represented by Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, since 1972. The district has a record of being left-leaning, but Hovde, a Republican, refuses to be discouraged. âÄúI think we do need a voice that is representing the districtâÄôs needs,âÄù Hovde said. âÄúShe hasnâÄôt been in a classroom teaching or being educated in, IâÄôm going to guess, 30 years âĦ That puts her way out of touch with the vast majority of the district.âÄù However, Kahn insists that while she doesnâÄôt attend the University as a student, she is actively involved. âÄúI continually interact with things at the Humphrey School,âÄù Kahn said. âÄúIâÄôm always giving lectures in peopleâÄôs classes.âÄù Hovde, who said he agrees with Kahn on social issues such as gay rights and abortion, said he isnâÄôt an anti-tax candidate but wants to take a more âÄúrealisticâÄù approach to balancing the budget. Among the other key issues, Hovde said he plans to address issues regarding the Minnesota economy by cutting taxes for small businesses and providing health care to the uninsured. âÄúWe canâÄôt continue to raise taxes on everything throughout the state of Minnesota,âÄù Hovde said. Hovde also stressed his support for a University-wide tuition freeze, which Kahn has repeatedly voted against. âÄúIt just shows sheâÄôs not working for students,âÄù Hovde said. Kahn, on the other hand, said she feels that tuition freezes could have adverse affects on the University itself. âÄúFreezing tuition is a real good way to get to a total mediocre institution,âÄù Kahn said. HovdeâÄôs campaign manager and second-year University political science student Andrew Wagner said that while the odds are against them, he believes Hovde has âÄúas good of a shot as any.âÄù âÄúItâÄôs still a long shot, but I think we can get pretty close,âÄù Wagner said. Hovde also said students would be able to relate to him because of his experience as a student at the University. Hovde also spent five years managing a small window-cleaning business and currently works as a sales representative for Corporate Health Systems. âÄúI think I have extensive knowledge in running a business, and running a business should be how governments run,âÄù said Hovde. Kahn feels confident about her performance as a state representative. âÄúWhat I consistently do is I run on my record, and IâÄôm proud of it,âÄù Kahn said. âÄúIâÄôve done that every time IâÄôve run, and IâÄôll continue to do it.âÄù -Luke Feuerherm contributed to this story.