Sitting down with Doria Drost


Photo courtesy of Doria Drost for House District 16A on Facebook

Running for a political office against an incumbent representative is no easy feat to accomplish; it can be even more intimidating when you’re only 20 years old.

“I’m hoping to inspire more young people to be involved in their government,” Drost said. “Our generation’s voices are so important.”

Doria Drost is a current student at Southwest Minnesota State University and is working towards her Master of Business Administration (MBA). Drost is running for the Minnesota House of Representatives District 16A seat against the current representative, Chris Swedzinski, who has been in the position since 2011.

Drost is from Poquoson, Virginia, and moved to Southwest Minnesota before she started middle school. “I moved to Rushmore, MN on a farm two miles from where my dad grew up,” she said. Drost attended high school in Worthington before finishing her undergraduate at SMSU.

“I chose SMSU because it is close to home and has a great business program,” Drost said. “I graduated from SMSU with a B.S. in Marketing and a minor in Political Science in 2019. . . I will be graduating with my MBA in the spring of 2021”.

Not only is she running to make young voices heard, Drost is running so that issues she feels passionate about are addressed. “Chris Swedzinski has been in the position for almost a decade,” she said. “I would hope that having the same representative for nine years would have allowed us to make large strides towards improving our district, but there are still many issues we are facing that need attention at the state level”.

Drost us running as a DFL Candidate, while Swedzinski is GOP.

“I’m running because I’m passionate about increasing the overall focus of the state agenda on Greater Minnesota. I want to increase the investments in our infrastructure and education systems. I’d also like to create avenues for individuals to gain accessible and affordable housing and healthcare. Agricultural represent is also a large passion of mine because of my background” she said.

When asked what she would do if elected, Drost would like to focus her efforts at home in Marshall. Issues she would like to tackle are affordable housing projects, working on better public transportation, insurance and healthcare issues, and to improve the agricultural sector.

“At the state level, I’d like to work on developing our educational curriculum to include more emphasis on early education, specifically in reading and math,” Drost said. “I also deeply feel that it’s important for every student to have access to counseling and mental health resources, which are currently lacking in our public schools. Hot and healthy lunches for all students, despite income, is also important to me.”

As of now, Drost is working with her campaign manager, Professor Ben Walker, to build the network necessary in order to reach voters in the next couple of months. “With this being my first political campaign, I’m also learning to navigate the ins and outs of everything so that our team can be successful, but I have great supporters backing me up already.”