Photo by Mike Madison

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You may have heard that next Tuesday is Election Day across the country. This is one of the most important elections of our lifetime and voting has never been more important. All the talk of this election around the station got me reminiscing about another election where the stakes were just as high. That’s right. You know which one I am talking about…

The 1996 Thomas Lake elementary school student council election.

It remains one of the more controversial student council elections in Minnesota elementary school history. It was also the only election I ever ran in. I was in 5th grade and, I gotta come clean about something, much like a lot of current elected officials who will remain nameless, my intentions for running were not exactly pure.

While some of my classmates may have been running to help better the school or maybe get an early start on a career of politics, my agenda was twofold:

  1. I had gotten jobbed in the yearly classroom draw and I was in a class on opposite ends of the building from the cutest girl in our grade. The only way to see her on a regular basis would be to get into student council since she was a holdover from our 4th grade elections (I voted for her, natch).
  2. The student council got to go on a field trip with the principal each year to go eat pizza and play video games at the arcade. This was something that greatly interested 5th grade Dana…and 2018 Dana for that matter.

So I ran and I went with the typical Bart Simpson approach to the election, promising things that clearly no 5th grader on a student council could ever achieve. Pizza Hut in the cafeteria, all-day recess, movie days, the works.

I ended up winning the election, much to the dismay of my 5th grade teacher who obviously saw right through my bullsh*t. Seriously, you should have seen the look on her face when she announced the results. It was like she was announcing Christmas was cancelled.

But in the end, this story does have a happy romantic ending. Remember that cute girl I told you about? The one that single handedly made me want to run for student council in the first place? Well, her and her family ended up moving and I never saw her again. Great.

So what’s the lesson here? Don’t vote for douchebags like me on Tuesday! Do your research. Find the candidates that are running for the right reasons. Who wins matters. Vote for the candidates who want to bring positive change to the state and country, not just someone who is in it for the crush they have on an already-elected official and the pizza parties.

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