“I’m not running to represent a party, I’m running to represent everyone.”
Those were the words Angie Craig used to summarize her campaign. Craig is the Democratic Farmer Labor Party candidate running for Minnesota’s open 2nd congressional district against conservative talk radio host Jason Lewis. Craig visited St. Olaf on Sept. 27 to discuss her campaign with students. During her visit, Craig discussed her campaign and life, remarking that she hoped her story would leave a lasting impression on Oles.
She grew up in a trailer park, raised by a single mother who struggled through years of hard work to be able to go to college, providing an example of hard work which resonated deeply with Craig. By working two jobs and receiving student loans, Craig put herself through college. From there she worked her way up the corporate ladder until she became part of the leadership team at St. Jude Medical where she was responsible for 16,000 employees in 100 different countries. Since her time as a student, Craig noticed something that profoundly troubled her and ultimately led her to run for Congress.
“I decided to run because I truly believe that it’s become much too hard for people to have that American dream they want,” she said. Craig’s conviction and years of experience have made high quality public education and college affordability a high priority for her.
If elected, Craig would embody a lot of firsts for the 2nd congressional district as well as the whole of Minnesota. She would be the district’s first Democrat in 15 years, as well as the district’s first female representative. Craig would also be the first ever open member of the LGBTQ+ community to represent the state of Minnesota. Craig’s campaign is an inspiration for many people, but she wants her campaign to be about more than just her identity.
“This district goes with the person and their values rather than the letter behind their name,” she said.
However, she also believes it is important that young women have role models in this country and that her sons know that “their mom can do anything she sets her mind to.” Above all, Craig emphasized a desire to work for the benefit of everyone, expressing a desire to “ensure that everyone has path to opportunity” regardless of political alignment, race, age, gender or sexuality.
“I am the candidate who is going to be working on the behalf of Minnesota students,” Craig said.
Another large part of her platform is working to create stable jobs. She stressed that, having led two companies in the past 15 years, she has plenty of experience guiding job creation.
Craig believes it’s crucial to get partisan politics out of Congress.
“Washington has to start working on behalf of families again,” she said.
She argued that Lewis won’t be willing to reach across the aisle for the betterment of our country. She claimed that he is firmly committed to joining the Freedom Caucus, a far-right congressional caucus she characterized as unwilling to compromise.
In Buntrock Common’s Grieg Room, Craig met with students and prominent supporters of her campaign including state senator Kevin Dahle, state representative David Bly and Northfield’s Mayor Dana Graham. Craig delivered on her promise to tell them her story as well as telling them about her campaign platform. She focused on her policies regarding college affordability, which struck a chord with many in attendance. Craig spent a majority of her time listening to individuals’ concerns and addressing how she would resolve them in office. Topics of concern ranged from desire for a fair immigration system to increasing awareness of sexual assault on campuses.
Craig finished off the night with a plea to attendees to help her with their votes, as she expects it to be a close race. St. Olaf students registered in Minnesota will be able to vote in Buntrock Commons. The election will take place on Nov. 8.