Daniel Zolnikov was elected at 25 to the State House and just entered his 3rd Term at 29.
Today we’re talking to Montana State Representative, Daniel Zolnikov. He’s just started his third term in the Big Sky State’s legislature and is only 29 years old!
Daniel is a liberty-minded Republican representing Billings House District 45, where he focuses much of his energy on promoting gun rights, civil liberties, limited government and economic freedom.
He’s been recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the 30 under 30 policymakers in the nation and Red Alert Politics touted him as one of the country’s Top 30 conservatives under 30. Daniel’s name has also been raised as a potential replacement for Congressman Zinke who President-Elect Trump has tapped to lead the Department of the Interior.
Having legislators under 30 is a rare enough find but the fact he is in his third term and still hasn’t crossed that threshold is pretty incredible. What’s more impressive though is Daniel’s drive on and off the campaign trail. He’s a hard worker and focuses on talking directly with his constituents.
Links from the Podcast:
Important Time Stamps and Descriptions
[00:00] Podcast Intro
[00:40] Rep. Zolnikov Bio
[01:37] Welcome to the Podcast, Representative!
[02:30] What was your life like before politics?
[03:54] At what point did you get involved in State politics?
[04:50] What was your introduction to campaigning like? (Hint: Lots of Knocking Doors)
[06:00] The Power of Knocking Doors
[07:10] How did the individual relationships you built, going door to door, help you win your election and represent your district better?
[09:42] Focus on the Voter!
[13:56] How did your conversations with voters improve your broader marketing efforts?
[18:14] The importance of using more than one medium of voter communication
[19:58] Never take voters for granted
[20:40] Tell us more about your parents fleeing Stalinist Russia
[22:38] How did that background of fleeing communism impact your political view?
[24:06] The importance of remembering the history of tyranny as we look forward at government
[26:17] How did your main political issues develop for you, especially the issue of privacy?
[29:11] Pretending to perfect isn’t going to work in politics anymore
[31:44] How did the Montana fundraising limits impact your fundraising for your campaigns?
[34:30] What kind of budget did you have for your race and how did you spend it?
[37:43] Using paid campaign workers as a force multiplier
[41:02] What does your campaign operation look like?
[42:41] What was it like as a 25 year old to actually be in elected office?
[47:14] What kind of advice would you give yourself when you started to run for office?
[50:42] Where can people find you online?
[51:58] Any closing words of wisdom for the listeners?