Concordia students recall Wellstone's passion
Sara Ruch remembers Paul Wellstone as a role model. The Concordia College junior saw Wellstone at a debate in Moorhead two weeks ago. She shook Wellstone's hand and asked the two-term U.S. senator to sign her program. "He always took the ...
Sara Ruch remembers Paul Wellstone as a role model.
The Concordia College junior saw Wellstone at a debate in Moorhead two weeks ago.
She shook Wellstone's hand and asked the two-term U.S. senator to sign her program.
"He always took the time to talk to you," Ruch said. "He was a real, genuine person."
The Fisher, Minn., native, who had hoped to pursue a career in public office modeled after Wellstone, couldn't believe her idol died Friday.
"It's really sad what happened," said Ruch. "He did a lot of good for Minnesota."
Many Concordia students -- who saw Wellstone debate Republican Norm Coleman Oct. 15 in Moorhead -- agreed.
Dana Boraas already voted for Wellstone, who was seeking his third term in office, by absentee ballot.
The St. Cloud native encourages others to vote for Wellstone, despite his tragic death Friday.
"People can honor him by voting for what he stood for," Boraas said. "I hope whoever follows him does what he would have done in office."
Conservative students at Concordia were saddened by Wellstone's death as well.
Senior Renata Olafson, who leads the college's campus Republicans, called Friday's crash "a horrible tragedy."
"I didn't agree with some of Wellstone's political views, but he was very passionate about his job," Olafson said.
"I feel horrible about what happened."
Junior Aaron Ley said the state and the country lost a passionate politician. "He was 5-foot-5. He was a little guy who represented the little guy," he said. "Wellstone made it clear he didn't represent corporate interests."
Concordia students Mike Boe and Emily Chrissis spent lunch watching CNN's coverage of Wellstone's death.
"I'm heartbroken," Chrissis said. "I called my parents right away to tell them."
"Wellstone was always a fighter," Boe said. "He was outspoken and very visual. I don't think I could name Minnesota's other senator."
Junior Jessica Gourley supported Coleman in the race for U.S. Senate. Still, she said Friday was difficult.
"I'm almost sick to my stomach," she said. "It's sad to see someone who cares so much be out of the election."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Cole Short at (701) 241-5557