Thorson announces candidacy

UND student senator Kyle Thorson, who intends to run for District 43 state representative. File Photo.

UND Student Sen. Kyle Thorson has announced he is seeking the Democratic-NPL Party’s endorsement for District 43 state representative.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity,” Thorson said.

Thorson, who is pursuing his master’s degree in public administration, said he wants to be a state representative because he has a love for the state of North Dakota and its residents.

Thorson grew up on a farm in Bottineau, N.D., and said that he has noticed the changes in the state resulting from the oil boom and hopes to put some of the money toward education and housing.

“Affordable housing is important,” Thorson said. “The fact that the rent in the western part of the state is higher than New York is scary.”

Thorson also said that there is a lot of focus in the state to keep a “rainy day” fund if the oil boom ends but that there is a need right now and there needs to be a balance on saving and spending on things such as housing and education.

In the past, Thorson has had multiple experiences he thinks give him a beneficial perspective

that will be useful in the house of representatives.  In the past, Thorson lived in Mexico and volunteered for the Peace and Justice Movement, which advocates for victims of the drug war.  In his time there, Thorson did various jobs to bring awareness to the drug war. He spent a week on the border of Arizona and Mexico, which gave him an opportunity to learn about United States and Mexican politics.  Thorson said he learned a lot about immigration, and says the experience will be beneficial while working for North Dakota.

In October 2012, Thorson helped design and implement the UND Financial Wellness program along with two other graduate students and Associate Vice President of Health and Wellness, Lori Betting. He said it has been one of his greatest accomplishments. The Financial Wellness program helps students learn how to make healthy decisions with finances. Thorson worked in public relations and marketing within the Financial Wellness program.

Another focus Thorson has with his campaign is to keep young people in North Dakota.

“Instead of making the tough decisions that will shape North Dakota for generations to come, our elected leaders have spent their time advocating for policies that are pushing our educated young people away,” Thorson said in a statement to the public. “Now is the time to ensure that all people, including our best and brightest, feel welcome here after they earn their college degrees. The legislature needs new ideas, and that is what I will provide.”

In May, Thorson will finish his classes at UND and spend the next year working on his independent studies as a graduate student. He said he thinks it will work well for him since most of his campaign will not get going until after May, and he has already worked with his advisor to make sure his independent studies will not be affected.

Ashley Marquis is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].