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Candidate Sets Out on Running Tour of 23rd Congressional District


Ian Golden has a passion for running. He ran in junior high and high school and at Ithaca College and founded the Finger Lakes Running Company in Ithaca more than a decade ago. This year, he’s decided to take on a different kind of race, the Congressional seat in District 23. Golden was at Kashong Creek Craft Cider in Geneva Monday night to begin an effort to get to know the district in unique way. He’s going to spend the next 30 days running through the district, a total of 450 miles on foot.

“It’s an opportunity hopefully to connect with people in a more genuine fashion. To meet wherever I happen to meet them rather than in some forced location with a set list of questions and treating the rest of the district as a flyover or a drive over state to kind of get to where I’m going. I want it to be more authentic. I want to really feel the district, to see the communities. And, to hopefully highlight the stories that just come up very genuinely as I go along.”

A run for public office wasn’t something Golden aspired to. He’s been busy with operating a small business and with his family, but something changed for him last year.

“I got to the point where I think I was feeling like I couldn’t sit back any longer and just see the increased division in our communities and the lack of vision, I think, on where we’re going. And, just the divisiveness after the election and how it filtered into communities. I guess I just go too worried for the future of my daughters. I said, I really couldn’t sit back any longer and no at least try to step up and be the change. So, that’s what I just did. I made the commitment to step up and I really see it as serving my time.”

Golden will set out today from Geneva to Penn Yan. He’ll have to cover 15 miles daily to reach his goal of Dunkirk in 30 days. Despite training as a competitive distance runner for years, setting up a campaign for Congress hasn’t left him with a great deal of time for training.

“You know, if my body doesn’t take it, my body doesn’t take it. I’ll go on by vehicle or whatever and still try to make all the connections and arrive at Dunkirk at the end of the month. But, I guess, one day at a time.”

Golden will be tracking his progress on his District Run via GPS tracker on his website.

Kelly Walker started his public radio career at WBAA in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1985 and has spent some time in just about every role public broadcasting has to offer. He has spent substantive time in programming and development at KWMU in St. Louis, WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana, and Troy Public Radio in Alabama before his arrival in Geneva, New York. In addition, his work has been heard on many other public radio stations as well as NPR. Kelly also produces The Sundilla Radio Hour, which airs Sundays at 1 p.m. on Finger Lakes Public Radio and is distributed to public radio stations all over the country through PRX.
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