Heading into the final week of my first primary campaign I thought you might be interested to hear my perspective on what it is like to be a candidate. So here is a brief 411 of “life on the campaign trail.”
The honesty of people is one of the first things that comes to mind. It is so refreshing to meet people who bravely ask “what does a State Representative even do”? That is a great question, asked by many. If you are still unclear – a State Representative basically represents the people in the Oregon House of Representatives. There are 60 members of the House in Oregon and all of them are elected every two years. My district, House District 20, includes West Salem, parts of South Salem, Independence and Monmouth and is currently held by the Democrat, Paul Evans. There are approximately 65,000 people and about 37,000 registered voters. My job ranges from proposing amendments to current laws and creating laws based on the needs of my constituents to serving on committees and task forces where I will advocate for our district.
Immediately after my announcement in November, I went an on listening tour which allowed me the opportunity to tour many different local organizations, from schools to non-profits, businesses and city council meetings. I took this time to really dig into the community and I met some amazing, generous people.
As well as my listening tour I began the task of raising money to fund my campaign. Many wonderful friends opened their homes and checkbooks. Through these events and other efforts, I have raised just over $55,000. I am pleased with my progress, but know that for the general election, I will be looking at a race costing close to $500,000. That is a lot of money, and a lot of support, but I am confident it can be done. Which leads me to you. I wish I had time to tell each of you individually how much I appreciate your support. Each time a donation is received I feel the encouragement, the assurance that I am supported in this effort. I can honestly say each and every expense is weighed and your dollars are spent carefully.
Beyond the financial support, the letters of encouragement, phone calls, social media posts, door knocking, sign placement is so encouraging and motivating. As I drive through the city and see those beautiful bright red Laura Morett for State Representative signs around the neighborhoods and city, it honestly makes me feel so supported.
I have learned a lot over the course of the last 7 months, met so many great people and have been encouraged tremendously by seeing how generous our community is with not only their money, but their time. We live in a great area, and there are a lot of people who care about improving our community. In closing let me tell you about one of these caring individuals.
His name is Willard Scott, no-not the weather man, but a 92-year-old Navy vet who lives in south Salem. This sweet man took the time to go to the store, purchase a $20 money order and mail it to my campaign with a hand written note that said he was supporting me. I met Mr. Scott earlier this week. I listened to how he bravely served our country in WWII. He proudly told of his stories of how he and his crew were the only crew to sink a sub from a tug boat – it was only a 2-man sub – but still – it had never been done. As he was proudly sharing his stories, his eyes welled up, his voice started to tremble and he began to sob as he shared that 2 years ago, he lost the love of his life, Lilly. They were married for 62 years and he misses her every day. What a blessing to share an afternoon with this precious man.
This story along with so many others make me 100% confident that I made the right choice to run. This job is about people, relationships, and helping others and you all have been a huge part of this campaign and I am proud to run it with you.
May 17, 2016 is right around the corner and if you haven’t yet turned in your ballot, please do! It’s too late to mail it, but you can drop it off before 8:00 p.m on Tuesday. Together we have built the foundation for a successful campaign as we move on to November. We have a long way to go, lots of doors to knock, calls to be made, hands to shake, problems to solve, money to raise and people to serve. I am ready and hope you will continue to run the race with me. God bless you my friends!!