Once upon a time I lived in Florida. I had a husband, two kids and a home business. We lived in a mostly Republican district that was represented by a Democrat, Bill Nelson. You may have heard of him, he went up in the space shuttle. it was a beautiful night launch that framed the full moon right after we moved to Florida. The very next shuttle launch was the Challenger and I watched it from my doorstep…but I digress…
How would a Democrat get elected in a heavily Republican district you might ask? The first time it just may have been a fluke…he was already in office when we moved in. Soon after we moved in we got a small welcome packet from his office with information on the area, businesses and government stuff we might need and hurricane information and evacuation routes as well. A few months later when our daughter was born we got another packet with more information and cool stuff from businesses (like coupons for formula, diapers and baby food) that we might find useful So our first impression was that he may be using our taxes to buy votes. We were wrong. He worked with local businesses to help a highly transient population (such as we have here in Arizona) who may not be familiar with the area (swamps, snakes, gators and storms) to more easily acclimate and feel welcome.
It didn’t take us long to figure out that the key to his success was that whenever there was an issue we cared about and wanted to make sure he voted our way we’d contact his office, usually with a call. He listened and often changed his vote to reflect the wishes of his constituency. If an issue was particularly contentious, or if we just wanted to know, he would explain his reasons for voting a certain way.
As a voter I appreciated that and as a candidate I can assure you that I’ve learned from the experience. If elected, as a representative I won’t forget to listen. Besides, I’m a grandma so I’ve had lots of experience listening.