ROCKLIN (CBS13) — The Rocklin teacher who made national headlines for questioning a student gun control walkout, is running for President of the United States.
Julianne Benzel recently filed with the federal election commission with the intent to run as a Republican Party candidate in 2020.
"We are unknown and we have a much higher mountain to climb," she said.
Benzel may not be the most popular candidate in the Republican race for president, but the mother and historian promises to offer the country a fresh view of the world.
"I believe there is much more commonality than differences," she said.
It all started with a protest. The American history teacher was placed on leave last year for questioning an anti-gun walkout at Rocklin High School.
"I was actually doing my job by asking them to think, 'would schools, ours or any school, allow a conservative protest during class time?" she said.
She took her share of criticism.
"What she said was inappropriate," a student told CBS13 back in March.
But Benzel says the support was much more overwhelming.
"I had handwritten letters from Maine, Alaska, Florida, Texas, and everything in between," she said.
Her new conservative fan base compelled her to do more.
"I'm running for the American people," she said.
She wrote a book and a binder.
"I've been voraciously studying it," she said.
Studying everything from China's growing economy to Japan's healthcare model, and Donald Trump's border wall.
"If we really want a border wall-then it's misplaced. It needs to be along the Mexico-Honduras-Guatemala-Belize border," she said.
She may not agree with every one of President Trump's policies, but she was inspired by his populist presidential campaign.
"I remember thinking 'wow how did he pull this off?'" she said.
She's even taking a cue from Trump and building a grassroots campaign from the ground up. So far her campaign has raised $5,000 from donations online, even from people she does not know.
Benzel has a long way to go to fill her campaign war chest, but a priceless drive to become the next President of the United States.
"I think the media's not going to know what to do with a quasi-intelligent, fierce, conservative woman," she said.
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