Janezich seeks to rally youth on campus

Megan Boldt

U.S. Senate candidate Jerry Janezich and his supporters took advantage of the hustle and bustle of the first day of classes Tuesday afternoon.
The DFL-endorsed candidate and state senator mingled with students at a rally on Willey Plaza to kick-off his “We the People Tour,” a statewide tour before the Sept. 12 primary.
Janezich said government and its officials sometimes don’t respond well to young voters. He said he wants to make sure their generation is heard.
“I believe (young voters) have the ability to decide an election,” Janezich said.
The Chisholm legislator fielded a variety of questions from students, ranging from education to world trade issues. Tuition cost is Janezich’s biggest concern regarding education.
He said the federal grants program hasn’t had the financial support it needs. Getting a higher education is becoming harder and harder, Janezich said.
“It’s taking people five years to graduate because they have to work their way through school,” Janezich said.
CLA junior Chris Clemens said he liked Janezich’s responses to his questions on family farms, missile defense shields and tuition increases. He said he is leaning toward voting for either Janezich or former state auditor Mark Dayton in the Sept. 12 DFL primary.
“I have one more week to decide though,” Clemens said.
Janezich also discussed world economics with the crowd of students and supporters, particularly world trade.
He said he is against World Trade Organization policies and went to Seattle to march in protest of the WTO’s practices.
“People have to take into account what’s going on in other parts of the world,” Janezich said.
Besides students, DFL party officials and candidates came to show their support for the candidate.
Janezich has been trailing Dayton and trial lawyer Mike Ciresi in recent primary polls.
Party activists and supporters said this will change. University area Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, said she backs Janezich completely and thinks Minnesotans will feel the same way.
“When Jerry talks to someone, he’s got their vote,” she said.
Party officials also feel young voters can turn the tide of the election, said Karen Louise Boothe, communications director for the DFL Party.
She said the party has seen numerous students help out with campaigns.
“They have the potential to prove themselves as an important voting block,” Boothe said.

Megan Boldt covers elections and welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3235.