Twenty-one-year…

By Sam

Twenty-one-year-old College of Liberal Arts junior Tom Gromacki not only lost the Margaret Sanger debate in the Minnesota Student Association Tuesday, but he also failed in his bid to become Minnesota’s youngest state legislator.
Gromacki, who spent most of election night at another House candidate’s party, said he wasn’t surprised with the election’s outcome.
“To be honest my real victory was in the primary,” he said.
Gromacki beat the more centrist Don Aldrich for the District 59B Republican endorsement in September in what some saw as a mild upset because Gromacki ran on a strict conservative agenda.
Gromacki said that in his first real campaign he learned some important lessons.
“It does take money to win an election,” he said. Gromacki said he refused the $1,500 in public funds Minnesota state law provided.
“Why should people pay for my campaign when they don’t agree with me?” he said.
Gromacki said he ran his entire election on about $2,000, mostly contributions from friends and the district caucus.
Gromacki said he also learned the importance of finding supporters who will help throughout the campaign.
“It’s hard to win an election when you are borrowing other candidate’s volunteers,” Gromacki said.
“I don’t think you can blame it on the money,” Gromacki said. “I ran as a hard-core conservative in one of the most liberal districts in the nation,” he said.
Gromacki said he was proud of the campaign he ran. “I was the agenda setter,” he said. “I made the opponents talk about my ideas.”
Gromacki said his biggest regret was focusing his campaign too much on the University community and not on the surrounding residential district.
“With this district’s residual turnover you need to have name recognition,” he said.
Gromacki said he has no immediate plans, at least not politically. “I’d really like to graduate,” he said.