Updated: Apr 22
My earliest memory of politics is from when I was 10 years old.
I was sitting at the dinner table and remember seeing a presidential debate. I didn't understand what they were talking about, but I remember being so interested in just how we elect a President in this country.
I followed politics all through middle and high school, but wouldn't get involved hands on until the 2008 Presidential election. I was excited (too excited probably) about finally being able to vote for my own representation.
Over the years I would daydream about being able to run for office. What would it be like to see my name on the ballot? A thought that is pure vanity and ego, I admit, but I just thought it would be incredible to see my name on a ballot that people actually vote on. Over those same years I would consider a run for office but ultimately told myself no. I didn't see myself as "special" enough to run for an office.
But something else happened over those years. I began to realize something - these politicians aren't "special," they're people. Furthermore, in a perfect world they would just be regular people like you and me. People that work hard for a paycheck, know what it feels like to finally relax after a long, hard day at work. People that have had that internal fears that they may not be able to pay both rent AND put food on the table. People that are sitting next to you at the traffic light, praying that their car just makes it through the winter. Those are the people we need in office - real, ordinary people who want to help out their fellow working class Michigander.
That realization was a big part of what drove me to finally decide I WAS good enough to run. Maybe I didn't have name recognition, a big bank roll, or other notable things. What I do have is a true passion to help, a desire to offer more voters a real voice in local politics, and the ability to occasionally say things that sound good.
As I drove down to Lansing with my wife by my side, I thought about all of this. I thought about how instrumental my parents were in encouraging me to take chances. I thought about the long conversations I had with my late dad while watching BBC World News (his favorite) about how it wasn't democrats vs republicans as much as it was the haves vs the have nots. I remember that sinking feeling when I lost my job in the middle of a global pandemic and wasn't sure where the next paycheck would come from, let alone how I would be able to make sure my family was safe. This trip felt like a culmination of sorts, or at least a turning point.
I walked out of the State building and looked across the way at the capital. Maybe this is all a pipe dream. Maybe I won't even make it to November. Maybe Midland is just too conservative for someone with more progressive ideals to succeed. But I can promise you two things:
1) I will never give up. I can be knocked down and counted out, but one of my greatest strengths (or points of contention if you ask my wife) is my stubbornness and inability to quit while I can still go.
2) Not trying is not an option. Giving up before the battle begins is a fatalistic approach and I simply won't do it.
I am dedicated to being the best representative that anyone could ask for. I want to truly, actively listen to and help this community. I want to be the person this area can count on to fight for what is right. I can only hope I am lucky enough to some day receive the honor to call myself your representative.
Until the next post, just remember this: We vote for a person - not a party.