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Octogenarian Senate candidate scales mountain

Ain’t no mountain high enough for this 83-year-old U.S. Senate candidate and ex-Marine.

True to his promise, Republican candidate Don Krampe of Murrieta last week scaled Mount Whitney — the lower 48’s highest summit — to call attention to his campaign. Mount Whitney rises 14,505 feet; the campsite from which he made his ascent last Wednesday, May 23, is at about 10,000 feet. He returned from the 22-mile hike last Friday, May 25.

It’s safe to say that none of the other 22 candidates challenging U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in next week’s primary went to such great lengths – um, heights.

“We are running a grassroots campaign with a very small budget, this was the best way I could think of to get publicity for our campaign,” said Krampe. “The people in Washington are irresponsible with the taxpayers’ money and are in the pockets of lobbyists. When I get there, I will not sell out to special interest groups. My plan is to spend just one term in office and then come back home.”

Krampe said his priorities are balancing the budget, removing burdens on small businesses and securing the border.

And he said that although he’s in fine shape, the hike would’ve been more fun at age 40 or 50. Only Krampe and one other Senate candidate — Atherton Republican Greg Conlon, 79 — are older than Feinstein, 78.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    I am disappointed he is limiting himself to one term. At 83 he’s just getting warmed up.

  • Donice

    I climbed with him, believe me…he has only started.
    I have known all my life, 57 years, and that he does not accept “No,” “Can’t” or “can not do.”
    He has only gotten started…………….

  • Freedomlady

    My name is Donice. I am his Natural and First Born daughter. THere were five of us. My Three brothers and I supported him in his decision to run. I am a Combat medic and CA Licensed Nurse in the Army. I climbed with him….and It was heartwarming to see the people from all over the world…on that Mountaiin with us…..and many forest workers…clearing paths to make hiking easier to climb. I am hoping when he plans to run again….that his furture attempts to run for public office …will show people that Age is not a hindering factor.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Age is just a number