Republican Kendall Qualls, a former U.S. Army Captain and businessman from Medina, released his campaign announcement video Monday.
Qualls filed his paperwork last week to run against Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN-03) and was immediately smeared by the DFL, as The Minnesota Sun reported.
In fact, the DFL mockingly sent Gregg Peppin, a political consultant for Qualls, the “paperwork necessary to run for Congress himself.
“If Qualls is just going to be a mouthpiece for political consultant Gregg Peppin, perhaps Gregg Peppin should be the one running for Congress. To facilitate this, the Minnesota DFL has sent political consultant Peppin the paperwork needed to declare a run for Congress,” DFL Chairman Ken Martin said after Qualls directed The Star Tribune to contact Peppin for comment.
Qualls made his campaign official in a video released Monday in which he discusses growing up in Harlem in the “middle of the worst gangs, drugs and violence in the country.”
“There are years you remember, moments that mark a new course. 1968: I was five years old. My dad returned from Vietnam and my mom and dad divorced. My mom moved us across the country to live with my grandparents in Harlem,” Qualls begins the announcement. “We stepped off the bus and got mugged.”
“1981: I graduated high school and got in to a small state college. I had no money to pay for college so I worked full time delivering pizzas at night and I joined the Army Reserves, and I got my degree in four years,” Qualls continues.
He goes on to discuss marrying his wife, the “love of my life,” in 1986.
“Getting married is fun; staying married is tough. But after 33 years, we’re more in love than ever,” he states. “There is nothing that makes me happier than being a dad.”
“My life has been a blessing, in the good times and in the tough times. Today we’re going through tough times in a different way. We don’t see our neighbors the same way we did four years ago. We don’t look past the political posts, the yard signs and the bumper stickers. We can change that,” Qualls adds.
At the end of the video, Qualls turns his attention to Phillips, saying “he just wants us to talk, but sometimes talk is cheap.”
“We need true and tested leaders to change the nature of the conversation because America is still an exceptional place, full of potential—a place where a poor, black kid from Harlem can raise a family, be successful, and give back to his community,” Qualls concludes.
Watch the full video below:
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