I lead because I want my niece to know that, no matter what anyone says, her gender will not stop her from doing anything that she wants to do.
Early on in my campaign, I was introduced to a former representative who told me, “Sit down, little girl, and let me explain this to you.” Running for office as a woman has been simultaneously the most exciting and most frustrating thing I have ever done. It’s exciting because I can see the importance of the work we’re doing, and I can see the changes we’re creating in our community, but it’s frustrating because of the sexism I’ve faced. In general, people seem to think that we’re less capable than male candidates, which can be very exasperating.
My husband is my biggest supporter, helping with the campaign but also with the household. He never treats me like he’s doing me a favor—he just does what needs to be done. My family and friends are also incredibly supportive. I’m inspired by my best friend, Katie, a mentor whose compassion for others, determination, and patience are qualities I deeply admire.
I’m humbled to be counted among the women who are running for office in record numbers. This is an historic moment, and it’s going to change how our government looks and functions. It means that women will be able to be more active participants in our democracy. That’s what’s so important to me.
Laurie Pohutsky is running to for the Michigan House of Representatives, District 19. As a woman with a career in the sciences and now politics, she hopes to continue to break boundaries and set an example for the future generation of women leaders.