So, this week I found out that I will have a primary challenger. I had suspected and heard that I would face someone, so I wasn’t shocked. I actually look forward to a great primary and hope that my opponent and I can end up making each other better candidates. If we do that, then we can make sure that the Democratic candidate will win in November. So, why do I think I am the best candidate and why can I win?
Several factors contribute to my ability to win. First, I understand what most of my future constituents go through on a daily basis. I have never been rich, I work an 8-5 job, and I have to budget where every penny of my paychecks go. Nothing has ever been given to me and I fight every day to better myself. It is because of that drive that I entered myself back into college in early 2016. Like many of you reading this, I get how hard that daily life can be.
Second, I know what it is like to struggle. In 2008, I was working in a great corporate job and maneuvering my way up the corporate ladder. When the economy crashed in the financial crisis, my company was forced to make tough decisions and lay off workers to stay afloat. I was one of those who was not vital to staying in business, so I was let go. I was crushed. However, I didn’t stay down too long. I utilized my time on unemployment to teach myself a new skill – becoming a personal trainer. I lost about 50 pounds and earned my personal training certification. That is the type of grit and determination that I will put into winning the House seat.
Finally, the reason I can win and I am the best candidate is because I am a “recovering Republican”. Until 2008, I was a Republican. It was my struggles during that recession that allowed me to see the good that government can do and the negative impact unchecked powerful corporations can have on our daily lives. I understand where the other side is coming from many times. As society has built echo chambers on social media and our legislative districts have been disgustingly gerrymandered causing on the most polar of candidates wins, we have forgotten how to talk with each other. I want to move past the left and right and do what is best for my district and my state.
The current Republican General Assembly members are illustrating what happens when you only concentrate on retaining party power and not listening to what your constituents really want and need. They have forgotten how to be innovative with policy and have forgotten what is important. If the Democrats can break their super majority and start forcing them to compromise, understanding their motivations will be vital. I am confident that in 2018 the Democrats will break the supermajority. Finding our commonality and moving away from the extremes will allow the constituents and state to be more prosperous.