Krishanti Vignarajah on How to Stay Sane on the Campaign Trail

Michelle Obama's former policy director reveals her essentials while campaigning.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Krishanti Vignarajah, the former policy director for Michelle Obama who spearheaded Let Girls Learn, announced her run for governor of Maryland in August, two months after giving birth. Suffice it to say, she knows about keeping it together on the campaign trail.

What do you have in your handbag?

"Business cards (Vignarajah is a tough name to spell!), clean diapers, and mascara."

Any style secrets?

"Always carry flats. I’m barely 5'2", so I can use a little elevation, but there’s often a moment late at night when I can’t take my heels. But if Maryland elected 4'11" Barbara Mikulski as senator for five terms, then there’s hope for other vertically challenged candidates!"


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How do you keep your energy up?

"With a newborn, sleep is not on the table. I do get a lot of energy from meet and greets. The other day, I met an 84-year-old who said she was “all in” on my campaign because she’d “be damned” if she sat by when there wasn’t even a single woman in any federal or statewide office in Maryland. So if she can do it, I can, too! Oh, and ice cream helps."

This article is part of our "Women Running for Office" series, which originally appeared in Marie Claire's November 2017 issue, on newsstands October 17. To view the full package, click here.

Jen Ortiz

As deputy editor, Jen oversees Cosmopolitan's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. Previously, Jen was a senior editor at Marie Claire. Before that, she worked at GQ.