I didn’t plan to run for office or to lead as a legislator. What I sought was a life of true connections, trust, and advocacy, and the result was leadership. You could say public service found me. I’ve spent a lifetime advocating for others, and the pinnacle of this advocacy was my election to the legislature.
Elections are tough, and at times, I questioned why anyone would take this path. But when I hear constituents say that I’ve changed their lives, solved problems, or just showed up when they needed it, I understand. I strive to lead in a way that gains the respect and trust of people in my district, and to model the behavior of a strong woman to the generations below me. I wouldn’t be here without the incredible mentors who have advised me throughout my life, and now, as a legislator, I believe that mentorship is part of the responsibility I have to my state and community.
Women fought hard for the right to vote—and to lead—in this country. We have the potential to change the world by forging honest and sincere connections, establishing defined goals, and by building trust and confidence in our leadership. To get more women elected, women first need to be excited about running for office. We must mentor women and girls who have the desire to lead so we have a pipeline of new candidates. Most importantly, women need to vote. Women marched for decades to achieve suffrage, so let’s stand on the shoulders of the strong women who have come before and show the next generations the importance of civic engagement.