By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN — A veterinarian doesn’t want to give up his practice, but his interest in a second job may force him to.
Dr. Donald K. Allen’s new job would make it difficult for him to continue his practice on Market Street, but it would be worth it.
Allen wants to be president of the United States.
“It’s definitely an uphill battle,” he said. “But this may be the year an Independent can take it. I’m going to go for the gold.”
As the nation celebrates Independence Day today, Allen is an example of what this country is all about: A regular guy who is afforded the opportunity to run for the highest elected office in the land.
Allen, 60, said he is like many other Americans who are fed up with the Democratic and Republican parties.
The thought of running for president just hit Allen one day as he watched the news on TV.
“People are aggravated, discouraged and have a general dissatisfaction with our government,” he said. “When you watch the national news, you think, ‘Why did the government do this?’ Different things that aggravated me about this country led me to decide to run.”
Among Allen’s concerns is trade, particularly the North American Free Trade Agreement and inequitable trade with China.
Allen supports building a fence along the Mexican border. He wants to offer $1 billion to whoever can find a way to make the United States independent of foreign oil within 10 years. Allen also wants to replace all taxes with a flat 18 percent sales tax on items except for food and medication.
Regarding war, Allen, an Air Force Reserve major, wants to give military generals “free hand [short of nukes] to do whatever it takes to totally subdue the enemy and its whole populace.”
Allen’s positions on other major issues can be found on his Web site: www.donaldkallenforpresident.com
Running for office
Allen has never run for political office.
“People ask why don’t I run for a local office,” he said. “That would be well. That would be good. But you don’t have to start low. I could do so much more as president than in any local office. The only thing you need to run for president is common sense. You don’t need experience if you have common sense.”
And a bit of bravery.
For Allen, telling his wife, Paula, about his candidacy was a huge task. When he first talked with her about it, Allen said his wife told him not to run.
That didn’t stop him from filing a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission in January. But it took him about a month to muster the courage to tell her.
“She was upset about it,” he said. “But she’s totally come around to it.”
She is now so supportive that she serves as Allen’s presidential campaign’s treasurer. At this point, it’s not a terribly difficult task. Through May 31, the campaign raised $4,742.53 with $1,699.53 coming from the candidate.
Getting his name out there
Because many states have different requirements for Independents to get on the presidential ballot, Allen, a veterinarian for 27 years, is working to get on as many as he can. He is sending letters to veterinarians in Oklahoma seeking their assistance in getting on that state’s ballot. He has a truck-driver friend who places “Allen for President” campaign cards wherever he travels.
He recently participated in a forum with six other aspiring presidential candidates in New Hampshire at the annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, a pro-Libertarian event in Gilford, N.H.
“I never saw a porcupine while I was there,” he said.
Allen doesn’t have any major plans to campaign throughout the country, but will do what he can. For instance, Allen will go to Washington, D.C., on July 13 for a veterinary convention and plans to bring along his presidential campaign literature.
Allen is probably best known to Mahoning Valley residents for his weekly pet segments on WKBN TV’s 5 p.m. news. He hosted the “Pet Talk” show for years on WKBN-AM radio. He was featured on a “Dateline NBC” segment in 2000 focusing on the unethical breeding practices and dangers associated with puppy mills.
Allen was raised a Democrat and is a registered Republican. He started working when he was 15 and held a number of jobs including a french fry cook, a Muzak installer, and a salesman in a toy store and a hardware store
“Working hard eventually paid off for me,” he said. “I’m doing very well in my profession, but am not a millionaire or multimillionaire like the people I’m running against.”
Allen was born and raised in Rockford, Ill., and worked nine years as a professional farrier until he received his doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1980 from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. He received a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1974 and a master’s degree in animal nutrition in 1975 from the University of Illinois College of Agriculture.
After working as a vet in Illinois for four years, he moved to Youngstown to work at Crago Veterinary Clinic. He became the medical director of Animal Charity in Youngstown in 1987, and opened his own practice in Boardman in 1992.