Though he is hundreds of signatures short of official candidacy and knows his chances of winning are slim, University Law student David Boyle still plans to run for the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan’s 15th District.
He said that while incumbent candidates John Dingell (D-Dearborn), who is the senior member of the House, and Lynn Rivers (D-Ann Arbor), who has served the community for four terms, are more qualified and more likely to win, winning is not a direct indicator of his success.
“I don’t necessarily see myself winning,” Boyle said, who will run against Rivers and Dingell in the Aug 6. Democratic primary. “I want to make some points even if I don’t win.”
He said he is running a “protest candidacy” to give a voice to what he feels democracy should be about.
Boyle said he wants to “show that you don’t have to be 40 or 50 years old with a zillion dollars” to earn a position in Congress.
He is pro-choice, pro-union and, among other things, disagrees with tax breaks for the wealthy. “I agree with Democrats on most things and, on some issues, go even further,” Boyle said.
His platform consists of four issues, including the University Board of Regents delegating more power to themselves, the absence of a student regent, the lack of diversity in University presidential choices,and a concern over the University’s sexual harassment policy. Boyle said an important aspect of his campaign is that he cares about the community. “People like to have someone concerned for them,” Boyle said.
While he feels he will enjoy student support, he said he speaks to the entire community and addresses issues that affect everyone. “There is ample reason for people, not even students, to be concerned (about these issues),” he said.
LSA senior Matt Nolan said he is excited to see a student interested in running for public office. “I think it’s great,” Nolan said. “Our generation has had a problem with people not getting involved with the political process.”
Nolan said he believes that Boyle’s political interest shows a reversal in that trend. Nolan added that he thinks opening up the political realm with a wider range of individuals as candidates is a positive step. “Breaking down barriers is normally not a bad thing,” Nolan said.
Michigan Student Assembly President Sarah Boot an LSA junior, said she understands the point he is trying to make by entering the election. She said she feels that by running, Boyle will “bring issues pertinent to college students to the forefront (of political discussion).”
“Hopefully, he can give the House of Representatives a fresh perspective,” she said, adding that if nothing else, “maybe he’ll get the vote out more.”
The filing deadline for signatures is June 11 and the general election scheduled for Nov. 5. Boyle still has to get over 900 signatures before he can run for the position.