My Life; Aric Putnam [AUDIO]
It all started for State Senator Aric Putnam in Maryland but he grew up in east San Jose. This is the story of Aric Putnam as part of WJON's "My Life" series. Putnam's father served in Vietnam and comes from a family of military veterans. After his service Aric's father and mother moved the family to San Jose to take a job in the 1970s in computers.
Aric's interests as a kid included being involved in boy scouts, playing soccer, going for walks and to playing in the woods. Aric got really involved in track and enjoyed running as a young man. He says he didn't become good at it until he was a junior in high school. Putnam went to college at San Francisco State to run track and he majored in communications there. While in high school and in college he worked at restaurants waiting tables. He says he enjoyed working in restaurants and thought he might just continue doing that.
Putnam finished his undergraduate degree in San Francisco and then bounced around spending time in Turkey, Jerusalem and the east coast of the United States. He moved back to California and then decided to go to graduate school at the University of Maine. That is where is met is wife Laurie. Aric recalls meeting her as they both were renting from the same house. He says they became fast friends and then began dating.
When Aric finished his graduate degree Laurie still had 1 year left of school. He stayed in Maine with Laurie and waited tables again. Putnam applied for PHD programs at that time and was accepted at the University of Minnesota. He and Laurie moved to northeast Minneapolis. Aric's specialty as a professor is Rhetoric and because of how few jobs there are with that specialty it wasn't easy to find a job. He got a job at St. John's University as a professor of Rhetoric in 1997. After getting married both he and Laurie moved to Elk River and commuted to their jobs. After 2 years in Elk River the two moved to St. Cloud in 2002 and Laurie got a job at South Junior High as a counselor.
Laurie and Aric have two children, Eliza and Phineas. Laurie and Aric worked mostly part-time while their two were young. Aric didn't get involved in politics until May of 2016 when Zach Dorholt called and asked him to run for House of Representatives. He decided to do it after some hesitation. Putnam didn't win either attempt in 2016 or 2018 at running for the House of Representatives but was successful when running for State Senate in 2020.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Aric Putnam it is available below.