BOX This campaign runs on policies, and cookies
By Karen Colbenson
Post-Bulletin, Austin MN
Stephen Williams wasn’t raised in a political family, but he is running for U.S. Senate for family reasons.
The Austin area farmer for the past 28 years threw his hat into the race because he wants a better future for his children and grandchildren.
"I’m very concerned about the state of our country," said Williams. "What’s happening to the economy with debts of all kind ... we’re pursuing a path that is completely unsustainable."
This will be William’s second time running for the seat.
"I was not successful in getting the nomination (the first time), but I still have my same convictions, and I’m still going to pursue them, so I’m trying again," he said.
The 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate election will take place on Nov. 4. The seat is currently held by Sen. Norm Coleman. The Republican Party is expected to endorse Coleman at the May 29 state convention.
The Independence Party convention will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Austin Public Library.
Williams said he believes his policies separate him from other candidates and he can offer solutions to ongoing problems such as outsourcing of jobs, health-care costs, Social Security reform, the federal budget deficit, immigration laws, the war in Iraq and energy policies. He will speak about his platform, as well as on supporting Independent candidates for election, at the convention Saturday.
"I believe I’m representing a point of view that isn’t represented," said Williams. "There’s no one pushing for the ideals that I believe in. We need to get in the independent candidates who are free from the ruling parties. The (Republican and Democratic) parties are controlled by money and corruption."
The ruling two-party system is becoming a two-family system, said Williams, referring to the swapping Bush and Clinton administrations.
"We need to break the deadlock between the ruling parties that are simply taking turns and bring some real change into the system," he said.
Williams said he invites "anyone who is tired of the ruling powers and the corruptions" to attend the convention.
As for campaigning, Williams keeps it simple. He introduces himself to people during social activities, such as cross-country skiing, and brings homemade cookies when he meets with groups.
"I can’t afford to drop everything, so I work (campaigning) into my life and what I do," said Williams. "I’m a pretty good baker, so I bake cookies."
Independence Party of Minnesota First Congressional District
What: Annual conventionWhen: 10 a.m. Saturday. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Austin Public Library
Who: Speakers will include former Congressman Tim Penny, National Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay, and Minnesota Party Chairman Craig Swaggert.