I love my home, and I worry about the path we are on. Housing insecurity, job insecurity, leaders that feel far away. Unlike politicians to date, I get these issues because I, too, live with these issues. We are strong, especially at the local level, and one single person can make a huge difference.
Initially, I just wanted to volunteer. Make a difference, use my experience, help get someone better in there. But the more I dived in to see what was and wasn't being done, the more it became clear that we needed not just an adjustment but an entirely new voice. These elections are too often controlled by a small minority of folks. A "Good Ol' Boys" club of entrenched interests that want to keep people out and thinking they can't make a difference. I couldn't disagree more with that mentality.
So there I was: A born and raised local with experience in campaigns, managing million dollar budgets, holding elected office, serving on county boards, working at several levels of government, and serving elected representatives of both parties. Someone that cut their teeth on voter registration and getting people involved. Someone facing all the issues I sought to change. Someone wanting to dedicate my time and passion to work I believe in.
It wasn't a quick choice. It took me a long time to decide and muster the courage to file. This is a hard campaign for a hard job facing difficult challenges. But the final straw was this: I asked myself "who am I waiting for to stand up for me if I won't stand up for myself and those like us?"
That's when I decided to run.
Absolutely. Since day one, I have been a grassroots independent underdog against monied established interests. But this election is important and we’re all tired of current politics. We want new blood. We want candidates working to earn your support. After months of sharing our message, I was amazed with the outpouring of support from nearly every door I knocked or post I made.
In the March 3rd Primary Election, we had our work validated with a blowout 49.1%, narrowly missing total victory by 39 votes. This was with three candidates and a full 16% ahead of the incumbent. Even many who did not support me still demanded change. Between my votes and Mike Suess's (who took third place), fully 2/3rds of our District said it's time to Retire Rodefer.
As we go into November, I remember what brought us here. People. Ideas. Vision. A thousand conversations and knocked doors, and a broad, diverse coalition. I am 200% committed and resolute to working hard for your vote over the next few months as I was starting this campaign over a year ago, and with your help, I know we can do it.
I took first place, but we were just 39 votes from securing a Primary victory on March 3rd. The way it works is that you have to get 50% plus one more vote to win in the primary. Out of three candidates, I received over 2,000 votes (49.1%). The incumbent received some 33% and Mike Suess received 16%. Since no candidate went over 50% plus one, Mike Suess was eliminated and the top two are heading to a November runoff.
As different rounds of ballots came in from the county, we were substantially gaining ground and on track to win. However, the last batch to be counted was evenly split like due to the thousands of dollars my opponent dumped into back-to-back radio ads and massive print media buys at the last minute.
I’m running as an independent (no party preference). Public service shouldn’t have a litmus test –– it’s about vision, values, and helping people which is why I'm proud to have worked for both Republican and Democrat elected officials. Beyond that, the role of County Supervisor is officially a non-partisan office and I've sought no party endorsements or nominations.
I am for common sense, for pragmatism, for bringing people together, for accountable and transparent government, for having the courage to address long-standing issues even if it will upset some, for speaking plainly, and for always being open to discussion.
Age is just a number, and that number is 28. Yes, I look a bit younger, and indeed I am young. But it can be an advantage and bring in new ideas and energy that our county sorely needs.
Simply put, no, because I too detest the idea of sprawl. The feel and culture of our area is core to who we are. The agrarian lifestyle mixed with historic downtowns and surrounded by beautiful nature. But right now, we've been losing it piece by piece. Not because we've built homes but because we've exchanged small family businesses with franchisees, because our young and working people flee to find work, because we have lost many of the events and arts which keep things vibrant.
Without good jobs and places to live, our area will stagnate. This is especially so for those who grew up here. Just as much as those who retiring here add to our community, local families deserve to find gainful employment and a place to raise kids in a place of their own. We need investment, we need middle housing and for many reasons, we need an economy that grows.
Back to your question, there are structural reasons why we cannot become like those areas. Unlike other counties, our land use ensures we remain a rural, natural area. Everything built here (houses, roads, etc) fits into just 5% of the total land use. 75% is a national forest, more is timber preserve and Williamson agriculture land. So only about 4% remains that could be developed. Yet, much of that land isn't developed for good reason: steep slopes, rocky soil, weird location, odd parcel size, flood or fire risk, lack of utilities, etc. I am much more for in-fill development and building in our community to fix up buildings and revitalize areas, but economically usable land is likely just about 1% of what we have to work with.