Van Presley, physical therapist and 25-year Duluth resident, announced Thursday that he is challenging 30-year incumbent James Oberstar for the 8th District congressional seat. Presley is seeking the endorsement of the Green Party of Minnesota's 8th District, which will hold its convention in Duluth on Saturday, May 1 at Peace Church.
Presley said he is running to offer voters unique choices on the ballot. For example, he will be the only pro-choice candidate, the only candidate calling for Medicare for everybody, the only candidate standing for two-thirds downsizing of the military. "We need to invest in schools, affordable housing and health care, not in missiles and bombs in a foolish attempt to run the world."
Presley specializes in elderly rehabilitation. As a co-owner of Arrowhealth Medical Supply, he helped to build the Duluth-based business into a 100 employee operation with 10 branches around Minnesota. He serves on the steering committee of the Duluth Area Green Party and is a member of the Duluth Charter Commission. Presley is married with three grown children.
At the press conference following his announcement, Mr. Presley gave the following statement:
"We need a broader debate in order to challenge the establishment politicians, because of their ties to big-money. Citizens need to ask why things are getting worse instead of better.
"We need policies that address the failures of the marketplace by 1) building a universal, single-payer, publicly-funded health care system, 2) guaranteeing free public education, pre-kindergarten through college, 3) guaranteeing full employment at living wages and high-quality, affordable childcare.
"We can achieve these goals by renouncing war, restoring progressive income taxes, cooperating with the rest of the world and investing in people instead of a militarized foreign policy. But we can only do this by standing up to the defense industries and oil companies, standing up to the drug companies, standing up to the insurance companies, and all their lobbyists and all the politicians that represent them instead of us."