Kelly Fowler’s first daughter was born on Obama’s inauguration day in 2009. In November, almost eight years later, she was preparing both her daughters to celebrate the election and inauguration of the first woman president. Like so many of us, she wasn’t prepared for the outcome of 2016 election. This story and photos of her and her daughter at the Women’s March are the starting point for the short campaign video she has pinned at the top of her Twitter feed. Originally captioned as ‘We have a responsibility to our children’. I was skeptical, as I am apt to be whenever politicians start invoking platitudes about children, be it theirs or in general.
As the video continues, however, I can’t help but think that Fowler isn’t a politician so much as she feels like someone I already know. The voiceover talks about how voters should be able to elect someone they would trust with their children or their aging parents. Someone who they would trust with their finances. Suddenly I’m thinking about my elected officials and how I can hardly trust them to show up to a town hall, never mind with my tax dollars. I’m not one of her constituents (or even a Virginia resident) and somehow Fowler is forcing me to reconsider how I feel about my local politics.
The biography on Fowler’s campaign website is too broad to chronicle in this article, but her myriad of jobs suggests experience and knowledge in some of the most important sectors. She’s been a teacher and also owned her own business. Her husband is in law enforcement. Both of them have extensive histories within the district where her children now attend public school. With a profile so ingrained in the fabric of the 21st District, Fowler doesn’t have to tell me that she understands the district, she’s proven it.
One look at the issue page on Fowler’s campaign website leaves little room for questions. Think of a progressive cause and she is ready to champion it. Also, her issues page is a refreshing break from the usual style of pages with block paragraphs and vague statements. Fowler notes her personal experience and position on each issue and then offers a few bullet points with specific legislative or policy goals.
Fowler’s opponent, Ron Villanueva, has been in office since 2010 and won the last election by only 1,533 votes out of 11,157. According to a district analysis by the Daily Kos, the lack of district participation means that this race is up for grabs. At the end of August, Fowler’s campaign posted on Twitter that they had knocked on 8,000 doors in the district. Efforts to register more voters and make personal connections could the keys to her success if she can increase voter participation beyond the 22% from the last election.
Visit Kelly Fowler’s website to find out more about her and how you can help in the last few weeks before the election!