Why I'm Running...

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When I retired a year ago, I felt inclined to be selfish with my time, to relax and travel, do some sewing and gardening, and to play with grandchildren. Then I received a call to action, as friends began urging me to run for the District 29 House of Representatives. As I was considering my choices, I recalled a quote that hung in

my office for many years: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Gandhi

I was born and raised on a small family farm where Mom and Dad taught us 11 kids the value of hard work and how to get along with others. When I married Richard, he was teaching school and I was working as a nurse. Soon after, we started farming and began raising our six children. I understand the trials and joys of living, working, and raising a family on a family farm.

We taught our kids to support our neighbors, especially those who were lonely or in need. We’ve long been active in our school and our church, on ambulance squads and rural electric boards, as youth leaders and in community events. I understand that our rural communities are built through cooperation, and will grow when we have strong foundations in place.

To our six children, we passed on the values of personal growth and determination. Each of them graduated from colleges and universities in North Dakota with 4 year degrees or higher. I understand the meaning of college tuition costs and student debt.

Our children and their spouses are architects, agronomists, dentists, financial advisors, and attorneys who serve in immigration law, for a farm organization and for an insurance company. Some have started their own independent businesses. I understand the challenges of being a small business owner, being an employer, and being an employee.

As Richard and I reach retirement age, we are faced with passing the farm on to the next generation. In the family, we have a farmer and a rancher who are in the process of taking over their respective family farms. I understand the difficulty of estate planning and being fair when handing the reins over to the next generation.

Among the children and spouses, we have an occupational therapist in early childhood intervention, a social worker, and teachers of preschool, grade school, high school, and special education. I have grandchildren in public school, private school, and home school. I understand the value of education and the importance of providing a stable, secure environment for our most valuable resource, our children, to thrive and grow and become productive, responsible citizens.

As a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Rural Health Nursing, I have had 30 years of invaluable experience in Crisis Intervention, working with vulnerable adults in their homes, elderly in nursing homes, at risk youth in schools, farmers who have lost their farms, couples in difficult relationships, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, worked with jails, emergency rooms, and law enforcement. I understand what a positive difference an adequate support system can be to assist people in becoming independent, productive members of society.

I believe people in our state want to connect, to be understood, and to know their voice is represented. I have spent my life making that happen, and I am ready to continue that calling at the North Dakota House of Representatives. It’s been a long time since the people of District 29 have had that experience.