Woodbury man making bid for Congress
Motivated by an effort to ouster incumbents, a Woodbury man plans to run for Congress.
Ron Seiford is currently collecting signatures to run as a Republican in the 4th Congressional District. The district, which now stretches into Woodbury following the release of new political boundaries, could pit Seiford against incumbent Betty McCollum, DFL-St. Paul.
Seiford, a 42-year-old financial adviser, originally planned to challenge U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., until she announced plans to run in the new 6th Congressional District.
Seiford is gathering signatures for a petition he plans to file later this year. State law allows his $1,000 filing fee to be waived if he collects at least 1,000 signatures.
As of last month, Seiford said he had collected about 200 names on the petition. Amassing the necessary signatures does not automatically complete his filing for office; Seiford must also submit an affidavit of candidacy to the Secretary of State's Office. If he collects enough signatures, Seiford, who also works as an adjunct business instructor at Woodbury's Globe College, said he will carry a message calling for change in Washington, D.C.
"It really is time for them to go," he said of current members of Congress. "Incumbents really should be worried in 2012."
The St. Paul Park native said he's most concerned about the national debt, jobs and the economy.
"Those are the issues, I believe," he said, adding that people he's been meeting while gathering the signatures have been echoing those sentiments. "They're very concerned about jobs and the economy."
Seiford believes "reducing the burdens" of regulation and fees on small business owners will help stimulate economic growth.
As to the national debt, Seiford said lawmakers are simply spending more than they take in. To illustrate his point, he opened up a recent Wall Street Journal article outlining a 31 percent federal budget deficit.
He described himself as a conservative who, as the parent of a child with special needs, understands "you take care of those who can't take care of themselves.
"But we need to live within our means and we're not doing that at all."
Seiford said he never saw himself as a politician, but decided to run after being encouraged by business clients and some family members.
"People are pretty interested and they want to see some change," he said. "I'm willing to do that for a couple years."
But not for much longer, he said. Seiford is a proponent of enacting term limits for members of Congress. He said members of Congress should be able to serve no more than two terms.
The filing period for congressional candidates opens May 22 and runs through June 5.
Seiford is the second Woodbury resident to announce plans to run for national office. Jim Grinols announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate at the Feb. 7 Republican caucus in Woodbury.