Why I Ran for Office
By Yael Kohen
Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA)
The defining moment for me came when my late husband, Sonny, was killed during a family ski trip. I knew that night that I had to let my children know that, despite the fact their father was gone, whatever I decided to do, I would be strong enough to carry on for them. What ultimately convinced me to run was the encouragement I received from my mom. She was supportive of my running for Congress and, most importantly, that she believed that I would be able to balance my family and work responsibilities meant the world to me.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
I had been a small-business person, working with the chamber of commerce on local community-betterment and economic-development projects. I saw that the decisions that were being made in Washington were not necessarily friendly to small businesses. The people I was working with in the community encouraged me to run for office there is such a strength that is found in that encouragement. I dont think I wouldve run had people not come to me.
Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL)
Efforts to store and burn toxic waste in my home county in the early 90s led me to get involved in elected politics. I could not stand idly by while out-of-state companies were trucking hazardous materials past schoolyards and playgrounds, so I ran for the county commission and won.
Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX)
I was attending a meeting about recruiting women to run for office. I was there to gather recruiting information to bring home to a group of women who had decided it was time more women were making the decisions. The more I listened, the more I thought, Why shouldnt I be the one to run? I was elected to the city council. Two years later, I was elected mayor, and five years after that, I joined the United States Congress.