Abigail Whelan has announced her decision to seek the Republican endorsement for the House in District 35A. The seat, currently held by Rep. Jim Abeler, will be open as Abeler seeks to run for the U.S. Senate.
A life-long resident of Anoka, Whelan graduated from Anoka High School. She studied public policy, political science and economics at University of Minnesota, where she graduated with honors. Whelan also studied abroad in England.
Her parents instilled in her a love of policy and learning at the kitchen table that has served her well, for during her tenure at the University she was a presidential scholar, dean’s scholar and later received the dean’s tuition scholar to go to the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, according to Whelan.
Whelan’s work as a legislative assistant for Sen. John Pederson and as a campaign manager for Sen. Mike Jungbauer gave her real work experience in the legislative process and campaign management, she said.
She gained a deeper understanding of the people in the district, as well as hands-on understanding of the legislative process, Whelan said. Whelan already knows what it takes to get things done in St. Paul, she said.
She is currently doing an internship with a Christian Campus Ministry that she helped lead as a student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
“While I am sad to see Rep. Abeler go, I am grateful for this opportunity to serve my community and eager to meet with the people,” Whelan said.
“My generation must take on the responsibility of providing a healthy, productive and safe Minnesota for our families, as our parents have provided for us. We should not be asking ‘how much can we get from government,’ but what can we do to build and maintain our own communities for the future.
“It is about creating a place where education thrives and jobs flourish. It is about local control. It is about getting the deficit under control while living within our constitutional obligations, which will be one of the largest problems for our generation.”