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Congressional candidate David Cruz Thayne speaks at PAAC meeting

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Congressional candidate David Cruz Thayne speaks at PAAC meeting

Allison Clark

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Congressional candidate David Thayne speaks to senior Chloe Hansen Thursday after the PAAC meeting. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

Congressional candidate David Thayne speaks to senior Chloe Hansen Thursday after the PAAC meeting. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

Students filled World History and AP Government teacher Cherie Eulau’s classroom Thursday at lunch for a weekly PAAC, Political Action and Awareness Club, meeting. This meeting, however, featured Congressional candidate David Cruz Thayne who came to speak to students about why he chose to run for office.

Thayne says he was brought up living the “American Dream.” His parents immigrated from South America, and then worked in factories in New Hampshire, a lifestyle that proved to be a struggle.

Once Thayne was born, his family moved to Salt Lake City. Thayne’s parents divorced, and at one point, they were homeless.

At a young age, Thayne realized his love for politics and sports, which he said set him up on a road to success.

“You can lift yourself up. You can make something of yourself,” Thayne said.

Thayne now has a wife and four children, and is living what he calls a “middle-class lifestyle.” After running a business that teaches tennis for more than 14 years, Thayne has to pursue a congressional career, and he is the youngest candidate running for Congress.

“You can only yell at the TV set for so long. You have to get involved.” Thayne said.

Running as a leader for the 26th Congressional District in California, Thayne wants to prove “a new voice for Ventura County.” His main goals if elected will be to improve the economy, education, and environment.

Thayne put an emphasis on the importance of electronic voting and congressional reform. Another aspect that Thayne stressed was that although he is running as a Democrat, he doesn’t like the idea of two adversarial political parties.

“I’m kind of over this whole Democrat, Republican thing,” Thayne said. “I tell people I’m running as an American.”

Thayne also discussed the usefulness of volunteering whether at a homeless shelter, with pets, tutoring, or even helping with the campaigning process.

“You just meet so many different people, so many different stories. Everybody’s fascinating,” Thayne said.

After Thayne finished, the discussion opened up for questions. When asked what he would cut spending on if he were elected, Thayne said defense. He was also asked what he would increase spending on, Thayne replied that although it probably won’t be able to happen for a while, education and technology would be top priorities.

Thayne was also asked if he ever sees any negative ads or hears negative things said about himself.

“All that negativity, you just kind of have to tune it out,” Thayne said. “You don’t let it bother you.”

Whether voting or not, many students enjoyed hearing about candidate David Cruz Thayne.

“I liked how he talked about how he ran and how he got a lot of flak…It really helped with my understanding of local congress,” sophomore Hunter Godfrey said. “It gave me more insight…It made me want to vote right now.”

Current PAAC president senior Aron Egelko also liked hearing Thayne speak.

“He was able to give us an interesting perspective on what it’s like to actually run for office and not just be in office,” Egelko said. “We hear a lot about he people  who actually have the position but not from people who have tried to obtain it.”

“I hope the students see that they too could run for Congress, given an open seat and the right circumstances, and that normal people do run for office,” Eulau said.

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Congressional candidate David Cruz Thayne speaks at PAAC meeting