Hazel Gibson, Candidate for Colorado Senate District 32
Which office are you running for and where?I am running for Colorado State Senate District 32 in South Denver.
When is your election day?
My primary election is June 26, 2018, and the general election is November 6, 2018.
Why did you decide to run for public office? Did someone encourage or inspire you? If so, who?
I was asked by six different friends after the last Presidential election to run. At first, I laughed at them and told them they were crazy. Then, I went to my house district meeting. I overheard two of my opponents who were already in the race talking about why they were running (Trump, who endorsed them, etc.). Sitting there, I got mad. We have real issues in our community and talking about Trump and who had endorsed them isn’t going to get them solved. That’s when I applied to Emerge Colorado and decided to run. Also one of my favorite quotes is by Ann Richards, "I did not want my tombstone to read, 'She kept a really clean house.' I think I'd like them to remember me by saying, 'She opened government to everyone.'"
What did you do before you decided to run? Where did you go to school? Tell us a little about your resume.
I grew up in rural Texas in poverty. I attended great public schools and was able to graduate high school with most of my freshman year of college already complete. I then attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX majoring in biology. After college, I moved to Houston and worked in audiology for 12 years. I then stayed at home with my children and did volunteer work. I volunteered with at-risk kids, at Denver Health, and with the homeless population.
What are your top 3 key initiatives/policies?
My top 3 initiatives are education, healthcare and infrastructure.
Tell us about a day in the life of your campaign or tell us your favorite story from the campaign trail.
Last week I was knocking doors and it had been a long day. I introduced myself to a constituent and we started talking. We got on the subject of my son who has autism. She started talking about her 46-year-old niece and her sister that died fighting for her niece to have access to treatments, education, etc. I told her that I was grateful for her sister’s fight, because I know her fight helped my son. She looked at me and said, “but the fight is not over and that’s why I’m glad you are out here today fighting.” I started to tear up and she gave me a big hug. I am running for office for a lot of reasons, but it’s the personal ones that make the long days worth it.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a candidate? Are there challenges you face that are unique to you as a woman candidate?
I have a couple of challenges that I face as a woman. The first one being the sexist things that get said. Some of the hardest have been, “What will you do with your kids while you are at the capitol?” “You will win because of the way you look.” “Do you have a campaign tinder account? It’s a good way to get votes.” The second challenge is being a woman and not having the same access to fundraising that men do.
What can women do to help you?
Women can help other women by introducing women candidates to other networks, attending events and volunteering with campaigns.
Share a fun fact or two with us!
One of my favorite hobbies is woodworking. I even made an outdoor farm table while I was 5 months pregnant with my son. I was so pregnant that I couldn’t screw in the legs, so I had to get my husband to help.
Any additional thoughts?
To see such young smart women getting involved and making a difference is an amazing thing to see. I have a 5-year-old daughter, and I know the world she is growing up in is going to be a better place. It will be better because of the women that fought before me, the women fighting with me, and the women that are just beginning to fight. Thank you for what you are doing.