Martin Olav Sabo, Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the state’s 5th Congressional District, shook hands with students as they crossed the footbridges near Coffman Union on Friday.
Sabo, a 20-year incumbent, asked students for their vote as part of “Meet the Candidates” week sponsored by the Minnesota Student Association.
He said he predicts the biggest issue facing Congress this year will be the question of what to do with the projected budget surplus.
“I want us to be cautious, because at this point it is just an estimate,” he said.
He said that as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, he will work on securing more transportation funding for his district, with more money for buses and possibly light rail.
Sabo said he is also concerned about the income gap and supports an increase in minimum wage. He also pointed out a shortage of low and moderate income housing in the Twin Cities.
He also hopes to work on health care reform and create a patients’ bill of rights and said he would like to see more emphasis on early childhood development.
Sabo also said he predicts the impeachment fervor surrounding President Clinton will fade over time.
Sam Tuttle, the legislative affairs chairwoman for MSA, said the candidates’ visits are an attempt to remind students of the elections, and let students voice their concerns to the candidates.
“We were looking at some way to mobilize students and motivate them to vote,” she said.
Toward that end, she invited both DFL and Republican candidates from 15 races, although only nine candidates came. Only one was Republican.
But Tuttle said the week was a success, with some candidates spending 10 minutes or more listening to students.
“I was surprised at how receptive students were to candidates as they went out,” she said.