Dan was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and grew up in Red Wing as a constituent of the Minnesota 1st Congressional District. From an early age, Dan was inspired by the public service of his parents and the election of the late Paul Wellstone, and he knew that he wanted to follow their example and serve his community. Dan was given that chance after September 11, 2001, when he witnessed the day’s terrorist attacks firsthand as a college student in Washington, D.C. Dan committed himself to military service in the coming months, signing up for Army ROTC so he could do his part to protect the nation’s security. From 2005 through 2009, Dan served as an active duty soldier and completed two combat tours of duty as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After his military career Dan felt a new calling to serve children at home as a teacher in high needs communities. On the week he left the Army in 2009, Dan began teaching first graders on Chicago’s south side, followed by two years spent as a middle school math teacher in Gary, Indiana. For the third time, Dan was asked to serve, moving to Washington, D.C. after graduate school to join the Obama administration, first as a White House Fellow and then as an acting Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon. After finishing his service with President Obama, Dan moved back to Minnesota, the place he has always called home, to write and conduct research on the military. Today, the issues facing the 1st District are complex and challenging. Dan wants to make sure that no citizens of southern Minnesota are left behind in an evolving economy—rather, that they are offered opportunity through affordable post-secondary education and the development of new job sectors. Dan wants to make sure they’re provided a high quality of life through investments made in infrastructure and affordable, universal health care, and that the most vulnerable among us are cared for in a way that lives up to the compassion of this country. Dan wants to make sure farmers are supported, that they continue to be our nation’s best, and that they can find new markets for their crops throughout the world.
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