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Democratic Candidate Laces Up His Sneakers to Run Against Tom Reed

Democratic Candidate Laces Up His Sneakers to Run Against Tom Reed
When someone announces they’re running for office, they don’t often mean it literally. However, Ithaca resident Ian Golden decided to hit the pavement when he chose to run for Congress against Republican incumbent Tom Reed.

Golden, a Democrat, has lived in Ithaca for nearly two decades and began his business, the Finger Lakes Trail and Running Company, in the city 11 years ago. As part of his campaign Golden will be running across the district, meeting with constituents and local businesses along the way. He will run a total of 450 miles, which he hopes to achieve roughly 30 days from his run’s Sept. 26 start.

The Journey Into Politics

22007504_367813623652495_5255655687263709207_nA political newcomer, Golden graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Occupational Therapy in 2000. He said he was inspired to run for office after seeing grassroots movements across the country and hearing the frustrated sentiments of various people after the most recent presidential election.

“There are a lot of people around the country stepping up … looking to make genuine change,” Golden said. “I think with the last election cycle, the movements I saw created are what brought me back into politics. All around there are people who are really at wit’s end with career politicians and the way politics has been corrupted by big money and other influences, and I don’t feel like either party has been really working for the people in a long time.”

Golden’s agenda focuses heavily on the fact that he has not been and does not intend to be a career politician. He emphasizes the fact that he has a desire to make genuine change, and he’s hoping to be elected for the opportunity to serve his constituents and fellow community members.

“I really want there to be more people in government who didn’t have the intention to be in government,” Golden said. “I don’t necessarily want to be in government, I don’t necessarily want to be a politician … but I also don’t want people [in office] who have always just wanted to be a politician for the power and the influence”

Golden’s platform addresses on issues such as improving quality and access to education, providing accessible and affordable healthcare and doing away with corruption in Congress.

Running for District 23

22365627_1504780722949959_700043642437584391_n-e1508097270788.jpgWhen Golden decided to pursue the office of a U.S. Congressional Representative, he did not originally intend to start physically running as well. The idea was suggested to him by a friend, and Golden felt that literally taking to the ground for his campaign would reflect on who he is personally.

“It’s been part of me finding confidence in who I am, and not just trying to run somebody else’s campaign or a traditional campaign,” Golden said. “I’m not really about forced dialogues; if it comes out genuinely that’s what I enjoy, and for me running was always a bridge to bring people together. It doesn’t really matter what your political ideologies are, if you’re going out to run with somebody, you’re just going out to run with somebody.”

During his runs, Golden has been making stops to chat with community members and business owners. In seeking a genuine connection with the constituents, Golden said he isn’t looking to just discuss political grievances. He wants to hear what each person thinks and has to say, whether it be in regard to the political climate or just how their day is going.

“A lot of people that I’ve been stopping and talking with, it hasn’t necessarily been with a political agenda in mind,” Golden said. “It’s just to really connect, hear about them, what they’re doing and just have an unforced dialogue.”

Golden is one of five Democrats seeking to take Congressman Reed’s seat in November 2018.

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