University student runs for Legislature

by Coralie Carlson

Tom Gromacki is passionate about two things — politics and the Green Bay Packers.
The Wisconsin native and College of Liberal Arts junior announced his campaign for the Legislature last week, but took time out from his political game plan on Sunday night to root for his home team in the Super Bowl.
Like the Packers, this is Gromacki’s second consecutive time in the big game. In 1996, he won the Republican endorsement but lost to incumbent Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, in the general election.
Before Gromacki can face Kahn for a rematch in district 59B, which includes most of the Minneapolis campus, he must win the primary against second-year law student Robert Fowler at the Republican caucus March 3.
Gromacki is running again on a traditional conservative platform. He opposes abortion, places emphasis on family issues and backs fiscally responsible legislation.
The two Republican candidates say they agree on many issues, but differ on tactics and emphasis. Fowler stresses fiscal issues, while Gromacki concentrates on the social aspects.
“My campaign focuses on a broader range of issues that are likely to have the support of Minnesotans,” Fowler said.
Gromacki said he also wants to improve education in the state. He opposes Goals 2000, a proposal to standardize public, private and home-school programs using federal guidelines. At the University, Gromacki supports interaction with businesses and technological advancement.
“I’d like to see the U become the next Silicon Valley,” he said.
In his last election, Gromacki lost by 64 percent against Kahn. This time he plans on writing a 10-point legislation proposal similar to the Republican’s 1994 Contract with America. That outline helped the GOP gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
College Republicans Vice-Chair Joby Sebastian, a CLA junior, had advice for Gromacki to improve over the previous election. Sebastian suggested reaching out to more students on campus by focusing on issues that students care about, such as tuition, vouchers and housing.
Gromacki, a four-year member of the College Republicans, served as their president and secretary. He will speak to the group Feb. 11 and debate Fowler at the Feb. 18 meeting.