North Dakota House candidate John Mitzel, 19, cited for underage drinking, stays in race
Mitzel with Ron Paul, who is old enough to be his great-granddad.
We all know excessive drinking, especially when combined with driving, can do significant damage to a promising political career. But what about tipping a couple back before you're of legal age?
Of course, there's little to no precedent for that scenario -- not because under-21ers don't drink, but because they usually don't run for elected office. Meet John Mitzel.
Mitzel, 19, is a Fargo native and UND student majoring in political science and finance. Last month, he picked up the local Republican endorsement to run for the North Dakota House in a district that includes UND and surrounding neighborhoods. And early in the morning on March 2, he was cited for underage drinking. He plans to stay in the race.
Mitzel was a passenger in a car that was pulled over, perhaps after a Legendary evening at a campus party. Officers noticed he'd been drinking and arrested him, leaving him with a citation for minor consumption.
Asked by the Grand Forks Herald if his arrest means he'll leave the race, Mitzel said: "I apologize for my mistake and lapse in judgment, but it will not cloud my ability to serve in the legislature."
If you're curious, Mitzel's ragged campaign website gives the following rationale for his barely legal House run:
Mitzel regards NoDako as a "beacon of hope for struggling states." If only those 'struggling states' were lucky enough to sit on a smorgasbord of fossil fuels.
In the past few years, while the rest of the country has been in steep economic decline, North Dakota has flourished and become the economic envy of the nation and a beacon of hope for struggling states. We are an example for the way that government can, and should be run.
Our history shows that when government is run efficiently and when regulations are constructed thoughtfully - and only when absolutely necessary - businesses respond by creating jobs and the economy prospers.
I am a Conservative, and if I am elected I will bring conservative values to Bismarck. This is not the time to put the brakes on our economy, we need to ensure North Dakota keeps moving forward.
North Dakota voters, you know how the old saying goes: 'If you're a conservative before 30, you have no heart; liberal after 30, you have no brain.' There may or may not be truth to that adage, but either way let's not be too hard on Mitzel for getting busted drinking. After all, what else is there to do in Grand Forks?
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