Why I am running for office

Andrea Doria Kale

By Andrea Doria Kale,  our Democratic candidate for US Congressional District 17

President Biden recently gave a speech with a powerful message.

His remarks were addressed not to the average person, but to the MAGAs in Congress and insurrectionists such as the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021. His approval rating has gone up nine points since that speech. It didn’t hurt that three significant pieces of legislation were passed under his leadership in the first two weeks of August, a time when Congress is normally dormant.

The senate race in Pennsylvania, a key swing state, fascinates me. I spent all my summers growing up in the rural town of Perkiomenville, some 22 miles from my grandmother’s home in Philadelphia.

Politics there are completely different.

My father’s side of the family all settled in PA when they came to the U.S. in the 1800s.  My dad was born in 1926 in Sumneytown on the family farm a few miles from Perkiomenville. My cousins are all Republican, yet they all voted for Biden.  They are disgusted by extremism.

That’s one reason why Senate candidate John Fetterman resonates with the people. He is one of them.  It really is “kitchen table” politics in PA.

I also had the privilege of spending some time at my grandmother’s sister’s home in St. Petersburg where Charlie Crist is from, giving me a feel for his roots and why people like him.

There is an old saying that when you speak from the heart you touch the heart.  I’m always myself.  I don’t try to wear a different hat when I speak to voters. I am a critical thinker, problem solver, and a truth teller.

It’s not just candidates like Fetterman resonating with voters. Senate candidate Tim Ryan is neck and neck with J.D. Vance in Ohio, a very red state.  Ryan is just being himself, a regular guy from Ohio.

For my race, it’s not as easy when you’re a woman Politician to be a “regular gal.”  We are, however, making inroads.  We elected more women in the 2018 midterms to the U.S. House of Representatives than ever before.

That brings me to the state of Florida where I’m running.  There are just five seats separating Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives from the likes of Kevin McCarthy and his band of MAGA extremists.  Florida had the most people in Congress that voted against certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory.  I am running against one of those ultra MAGA election deniers endorsed by Trump, Representative Greg Steube.

Two other FL MAGA elected officials include Matt Gaetz in Congressional District 1 who is opposed by Rebekah Jones, fired by FL Governor DeSantis for providing us with accurate COVID information.  Brian Mast of the new Congressional District 21 is another MAGA candidate, opposed by Corinna Balderramos-Robinson, Ph.D.  Jones, Balderramos-Robinson, and I are women who did not hold office prior to running against these MAGA extremists. We deserve as much respect and support as a John Fetterman and Tim Ryan.

The fact is, we must work harder as women.  A great example of how gender matters has to do with how Fetterman is admired for wearing jogging suits to campaign events. Imagine what would happen if Val Demings showed up to an event in her jogging pants?  Or if I showed up in my ripped blue jeans?

A grim reminder of how easily democracy can disappear was witnessed at a recent Texas Conservative Political Action Conference where autocratic Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was cheered with approval as he offered his defiant message on immigration and gay marriage. The European Union recently declared that Hungary was no longer a democracy but “a hybrid regime of electoral autocracy.”  In words that could have easily been uttered by former President Trump, Orban dismissed the resolution as a joke.

Please, get out there and support your candidates and vote like this is 2020 all over again.  There so much at stake including our rights and freedoms and those of our children and grandchildren.

Our democracy is teetering on the brink, and we need to stop MAGA Republicans now.

 Image Credits: By Cindy Scaruffi-Klispie