Karen McCormick, Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives

 
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InvestHER recently sat down with Karen McCormick to talk about what it is like to be a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Which office are you running for and where?
I am running for Colorado Congressional District 4. This district is located in the eastern part of Colorado and encompasses 22 counties. It is a large rural district.

When is your election day?
November 6, 2018

Why did you decide to run for public office? Did someone encourage or inspire you? If so, who?
I am running for this office to bring compassion and a collaborative approach back to policy making at the highest level. I am so concerned for the future of our democracy that I feel compelled to serve my state and my country. My Dad, who served 30 years in the US Navy and retired as a Rear Admiral, has been a big inspiration for me to take this step. Our family sacrificed as he served this country and I know that the direction our nation is going right now is not what we and countless others fought to defend. My three children are also a huge inspiration for me. Our eldest identifies in the LGBTQ community and all three of our children are in their twenties. I want this country to be the strong, inclusive, proud country in the future that it was set up to be over 240 years ago.

What did you do before you decided to run? Where did you go to school? Tell us a little about your resume.
I am a career veterinarian. I have practiced veterinary medicine for over 33 years. I owned and managed my own small animal hospital here in Colorado for over 16 years. We had 24 employees and a budget of over 2 million dollars annually. I went to undergrad and received a BS in Agriculture from the University of Florida. I went on to receive my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine also from the University of Florida. I have been deeply involved in non-profit organizations that promote animal and human health and welfare. I also have been a volunteer english language teacher for immigrants in my community for 3 years to help immigrants integrate into our state. I teach part time at Colorado State University helping the third year veterinary students prepare to work with animal owners once they graduate. I am ready to serve my community in a new way by representing the residents of the 4th Congressional District.

What are your top 3 key initiatives/policies?
Number one is health care. We need a health care system that is affordable, sustainable and that covers everyone. We must move forward from the advances made with the Affordable Care Act to strengthen and improve health, access to care, and costs. I will get behind legislation that opens up Medicare for more people to buy in to the system, and by doing so, enlarge the collective bargaining power of Medicare to lower pharmaceutical costs for all.

I also want to work on policies to help the health of our planet. We have a tremendous opportunity in our district to promote the renewable energy industry. I want to help level the playing field in the energy market so that new business opportunities and cleaner, cheaper sources of energy can thrive.

I am determined to be the voice of our district that fights for our agricultural industries. We need to be sure we have trade deals that open up fair markets for our exports. I will be a representative that fights for a strong Farm Bill. I will work on compassionate comprehensive immigration reform that protects families and keeps our businesses that are so dependent on guest worker and H-2 visa programs working.

Tell us about a day in the life of your campaign or tell us your favorite story from the campaign trail.
I love that we are now hosting two spectacular young adults that are working all day, every day, giving their all to help us win this seat in November. Because we are all living in the same house we share laughs, frustrations, exhaustion and victories together. With our three children out of the house it is a joy to have these staff members living with us for the duration of the campaign. We are truly a grassroots campaign and this is how it is day in and day out. It is a new kind of family!

What is the biggest challenge you face as a candidate? Are there challenges you face that are unique to you as a woman candidate?
The biggest challenge for me as a first time candidate is getting my name and message out to this very large district. Since I have not run for public office before it takes tremendous resources to be able to get your message to voters and to get out the vote. As a woman I still face discrimination that I have made the decision to run for a federal office without first pursuing elected office locally. I don’t believe a man would receive the same amount of judgment.

What can women do to help you?
Women are fearless and powerful. Women can help spread the word about our campaign and the values for which I am fighting. Women can help gather resources to help us pay for all that goes into a successful campaign. Women can show up to volunteer, to make phone calls and knock on doors. Women can change the world!

Share a fun fact or two with us!
I love disco music and have never been afraid to say so...even when it wasn’t “cool”!

Any additional thoughts?
It is past time that we elect enough women to offices up and down ballots across this country until we have at LEAST a 51% representation at the decision making tables everywhere.