A 23-year-old Democratic activist has officially declared a legislative candidacy for a St. Cloud-area state House of Representatives seat. Dan Wolgamott was known to be interested in a bid for the House District 14A seat, and on Monday he confirmed to the St. Cloud Times that he would run for the office. Wolgamott said he registered with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board last Friday.
Wolgamott is looking to challenge Rep. Tama Theis, R-St. Cloud, the first-term lawmaker who won a special election to replace former GOP Rep. Steve Gottwalt. In that contest, Wolgamott worked on the campaign of Theis’ DFL opponent, Joanne Dorsher. With fewer than 5,000 votes cast in the mid-February election, Theis won with 54 percent of the district vote.
Following her win, Theis joined the 2013 legislative session more than a month after it began, and often invoked her experience as a small business owner to bolster her opposition to tax increases supported by the DFL majorities. Theis runs a remodeling business along with her husband.
Wolgamott has also worked on successful campaigns for Rep. Zach Dorholt, DFL-St. Cloud, as well as former DFL House member Larry Hosch. Wolgamott, a Nebraska native, attended St. John’s University, where he played as an offensive lineman on the school’s football team. He now works as a realtor and coaches high school football at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.
Wolgamott told the Times his campaign would be focused on education funding levels. He also pointed out that the area had a history of electing young representatives, including Hosch, who first won election as a 27-year-old, and Doug Stang, a Republican who was just 22 when he won election to the House.
“This area has a history of electing people who are young, people who are energetic, people who have the energy to go out and listen to people,” he said.