Ivy League to Prom Queen: My First Run for Office
Rachel Barnhart

I appreciate that you were/are moved to become more active in the community and I read all the material from your campaign (some received by mail, some online, some in the news, etc.) but in the end I did not vote for you. Why? I didn’t see that you understood, deeply, the issues facing our community or specifically how you would help deal with them as a legislator. You were running against someone with a good track record on the issues and who identified what he would be working on in the future.

What I recall most clearly from your campaign is that you would make yourself available to constituents and represent them well. It would be great if you ran for another office and offered goals and policies of substance. I realize this was your first time out in politics, so believe you can learn from the experience.

Many of the comments I had read about your candidacy appear to refer to the lack of substance put forward and that is where sexism might be involved in some way, in assuming that no woman could offer substance. That, of course, is just plain stupid. However, I think it would be a mistake to say you lost the election because you’re a woman. You need to do more to engage the voters than you did this time. If you’re committed to serving the public, it’s a good lesson for the future. I wish you well!

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