Daniel Mathias, Republican

Daniel Mathias is running as the Republican candidate for the U.S. Congressional District 5.

Bryce Haugen

On a fall day in 1987, Daniel Mathias met the love of his life.

“We met right in front of Nicholson Hall – I can point the tree out,” said his wife, Karen Mathias, a former University student.

Seventeen years and nine children later, the southeast Minneapolis residents have teamed up for Daniel Mathias’ second attempt to unseat Rep. Martin Sabo, D-Minn. In 2002, Daniel Mathias, a Republican, received 26 percent of the 5th District vote. This year, the 39-year-old courier driver is working to improve on that performance, vigorously defending U.S. in Iraq policy while promoting job growth and education reform.

The 5th District needs Daniel Mathias’ fresh ideas, said Karen Mathias, a former Democrat who now serves as her husband’s campaign manager, adviser and “sometimes-spokeswoman.”

“Martin Sabo’s been in politics for 46 years,” she said. “That’s longer than I’ve been alive.”

“Dan’s worked blue-collar jobs his whole life. Tough jobs. Real jobs,” she said.

Daniel Mathias, who has a University degree in Jewish and Middle Eastern studies, said he has an important understanding of the Middle East.

“I was advocating that the U.S. should go into Iraq. Saddam Hussein had been a long-time sponsor of terrorism,” he said.

He said the key to long-term Iraq stability is building a diversified economy.

Daniel Mathias said he strongly supports President George W. Bush’s tax cuts as a tool to create jobs.

“(They) helped us avoid a depression,” he said.

He said a strong 5th District economy depends on good inner-city schools. Bush’s policies will help, he said.

“(Bush’s) No Child Left Behind Act should be viewed as a tool to empower parents by giving them more knowledge about their schools,” he said.

Daniel Mathias said he wants to eliminate federal loans for higher education, which he said allows universities to recklessly increase tuition.

“I’d like to switch the focus Ö to more outright grants so students aren’t saddled with a high level of debt,” he said.

Karen Mathias said she realizes her husband’s low-budget campaign will probably lose.

“In Minneapolis, there’s no Republican from dog catcher to congressman,” she said.

Although he said he knows he won’t win, Daniel Mathias said, he’s running to create discussion and promote other viewpoints.

Chris Montana, College Democrats state chairman, said he’s glad the Republican is running.

“It’s never a good idea to let a candidate run unopposed,” he said.

But Montana said students should stick with Sabo, a 13-term incumbent.

“We don’t need someone who’s going to be an echo-man for President Bush,” he said. “We need somebody who’s going to be working for students.”