US Representative candidate Tom Weiler speaks to Edina High School students


Courtesy of Erik Anderson

Tom Weiler introduces himself to students in the community room.

Claire Chen, Staff Writer

Republican candidate for United States Representative in District 3 Tom Weiler arrived at Edina High School on Oct. 17 to meet with students during 5th hour. Sharing his personal background and ideals through a presentation, Weiler brought a perspective to students regarding his values that differed from his opponent, Democrat U.S. Representative Dean Phillips, who had visited EHS a week prior. AP Government and AP U.S. History teacher Erik Anderson contacted Weiler’s team through his website to schedule his appearance. 

“Particularly during an election, we want to make sure that students are exposed to both sides of the political spectrum [and] both sides of the debate,” Anderson said. 

The event was hosted in the community room, and Weiler began his presentation by stating one of his main principles—the American dream. Weiler connected the idea of the American dream with his experience in the U.S. Navy and throughout the presentation displayed numerous videos of activities he had done during his service. 

“[I was hoping] to open students’ eyes, or reinforce the idea of [having a] desire to serve the greater good as they move forward, whether to be through a profession, charity, whatever they choose,” Weiler said. 

Weiler’s presentation centered around his personal background rather than his platform. Students were able to address his political agenda through the Q&A session subsequent to Weiler’s talk, and the questions focused on topics covering crime rates, police brutality, and decreasing mass shootings. Students placed their own concerns into the questions, asking how Weiler’s plans of handling these topics was the correct course of action.

“The questions were definitely hard hitting. I don’t know if I’d win in a general election in this classroom. But they definitely did their research and had a lot of thought [in their questions],” Weiler said.  

Freshman Odetta Schremmp observed her peers apply concepts learned in AP Government to the conversation, and noted the significance of hosting political events at EHS. “Particularly for students who don’t know much about the political parties, what they stand for or the candidates, going to [events like this] can really help them come up with their own ideas and opinions on the matter.” 

  EHS was Weiler’s first meeting with students, and he plans to continue meeting with younger constituents in neighboring schools. 

“[Whether they] agree with my politics or not, hopefully they enjoy a reasonable dialogue between people with different opinions, and realize that we’re all on the same team,” Weiler said.