I work with elected officials a lot in my current job. And to be honest, I have considered running for public office before now……I just figured it would be many years down the road before I made the leap. But sometimes doors just open and you have to walk through them – ready or not.
I remember when my dad ran for sheriff some 11 years ago. It was a big deal. We all rallied around him and I believe in him so I supported him. And he lost. Now that I’m running my own county wide campaign, I am only now starting to grasp how hard that must have been. Because Dad and I, we’re a lot alike. When we commit to something, we’re passionate about it. You can try to distance yourself from your work, your campaign, but for me, they become a part of who I am.
I’m working a full time job. I have a family. So the time and resources I am pouring into this chapter of my life are personal. Because I could be doing a lot of other things. But I honestly believe that I am the best candidate with the best reputation and the best resume and I really, really want the remainder of my career to be spent in public service. I want it for this county that I love and for myself. It’s the path I choose. It’s personal.
I’d love to be thicker-skinned than I am, but I’m not. When people that I expected to support me don’t, it’s hard. It hurts. But I move on. Because sometimes people you didn’t expect to support you do. And sometimes perfect strangers say the nicest things. And sometimes your family and friends have your back so much and turn out so strongly in your corner it makes me want to cry. And to be believed in that much…..it’s personal.
Being a public servant is in my personality. Being a politician is not. I don’t like asking people for anything and I don’t like feeling as though I’m bothering anyone when I show up at their door. People think if you run for election,  you must be full of yourself. And you HAVE to promote yourself. And it’s hard to reconcile that with what being in office is all about: SERVICE. To others. It’s not about you….but to get there, you have to MAKE it all about you for months. It’s not me to be that way. And it’s hard. It’s personal.
My parents didn’t tell me I could be anything I wanted to be. They taught me to work hard and that nothing was a failure if you learned something in the process. My daughter looks up to me. I want her to have the example of a mother who wasn’t scared to try. Wasn’t afraid of hard work. Wasn’t afraid of stepping out of her comfort zone. It’s personal.
I keep coming back to that. The PERSONAL. Because at the end of the day, no matter how many people’s motives I question, no matter how many days I feel like I didn’t make enough headway, no matter how many drops of sweat I shed…..at the end of the day, this chapter of my life is personal. It’s meant for my good – God’s always had His hand on me and never let me down and always caught me when I fell. So whatever happens, win or lose, it might not be easy……but it was personal.