Belknap District 2 (Meredith and Gilford)
Occupation and employer:
Professional School Counselor at Laconia Christian Academy
Number of years in NH:
Favorite place in NH:
On Lake Winnisquam.
Describe NH in three words:
Free, Home, Nature.
Year first year elected to the legislature:
I campaigned with a focus on mental health and education. I’d like to see New Hampshire continue to use innovative solutions to address the mental health and drug addiction concerns in our state. I think that this starts in families who nurture and instill worth and values to their children. It extends to schools who educate and challenge students to think critically and solve problems. We need prevention, intervention, and long term care. Prevention starts at home.
Since serving in the House of Representatives, I have also found a need to preserve the New Hampshire way of life, which embraces freedom and accountability to neighbors and not necessarily to government. This includes a limited scope of government and preservation of natural rights.
What was your path to politics?
I had thought about running for public office for a few years, but thought it would be impossible with needing to work full-time. A number of things fell into place and I found myself in a job that supported the idea of running and was willing to make the schedule work. Although it has it’s downsides, the fact that we have a citizen legislature is the reason I even entertained the thought of running. I decided to run last Spring, and I am so grateful for all of the support that propelled me to my seat in the House of Reps today.
What barriers did you face running for office? How did you overcome them?
Work was a big potential barrier, but I was able to find a job that was excited about the prospect of my serving in the General Court and was willing to make significant adjustments to allow my service. Campaigning for political office is no small task, so it required a strong commitment on my part to make it happen. I will say that every member of the NH House of Representatives makes significant sacrifices to serve, and I am grateful for the commitment that they all make to represent the citizens of our great state.
What is the most pressing issue facing young people in NH?
I am hesitant to take a strong stance on this question because the pressing issues vary in different communities around the state. Although not political, I think that young people across the country (including New Hampshire) are plagued with loneliness and a disconnectedness that has far reaching implications for everyday life.
How could NH be made even better for young people?
There are certainly challenges in our state, but no matter where we live, there are trade offs. We are in a geographically diverse area with a number of good high paying jobs available, but might struggle to find housing and childcare. I think continuing to promote our economic and job growth will serve young people in our state well.
What advice do you have for other young people considering running for office?
Listen to the people who have served before us. I have learned so much from members of the House who have dedicated years of their lives to serving in the General Court. Different perspectives are good and needed, but new is not always better. Don’t burn any bridges. Relationships are everything, not only in campaigning (which is so true!) but in all of life.
C.S. Lewis says that, “There is no ordinary person” meaning that every person is extraordinary. Keep that in mind are you look to serve our great state.