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I am Mandy Powers Norrell. And I am running for S.C. Senate District 16. I was born and raised in this district. My whole life is along the Catawba River.
For the past 270 years, my family has been right here - and we will be here 270 more. This is the land for which my ancestors fought the British. This is the land where my sixth great grandfather hosted George Washington.
This is the land where my parents met and married. The land where they worked for Springs Mills for a combined 68 years - and made a good living and great opportunities for me.
This is the land where I received a terrific public school education.
The land where I was taught in our churches to love God.
This is the land where I worked in Springs Mills to pay for college and learned the value of hard work and saving.
This is the land I came home to - to renovate a historic building and practice law.
The land where I married the love of my life and had my children, who are also now attending public school in this district. Their names are Teddy and Emma and they are the reason I am running for Senate.
Our children, your children - the air they breathe, the water they drink, the food they eat, their health and education, job security for their parents and retirement security for their grandparents - deserve to grow up in a district where:
n Our public schools are fully funded - and no one is taking away their funding for back-door private school voucher programs
n Where our working families get the help and support they need
n Where our Catawba River - our water source, the lifeblood of our district - is clean, full and protected
As an attorney who has spent her career fighting for people - against corporations, insurance companies and predatory lenders, I am in a position to know the needs and the hurts of working people.
It is heartbreaking to see my former Springs co-workers struggling, unable to find a job, and wondering what they are going to - too old to find work, too young to retire.
I will do everything in my power as a senator to recruit good jobs to this district. No candidate knows better than me the work ethic of the people of this district, because I've worked beside them. Given the training and opportunity, our people can do anything.
I believe in this district. And I love this district. As your senator, every decision I make will be made out of a love for this district and its people and not out of a desire to move up the political ladder. You can take that to the bank.
But I am going to need your help. Elections are not won by a candidate alone, but by a family of supporters who believe in the message. I promise you that I will work twice as hard as I ask you to work and I will always be eager to listen to your concerns. Because this isn't about me. I'm just the vehicle to get the message to Columbia. It's about you. It's about our children.
And it's about every working man and woman in this district - and especially about the ones who wish they were working but can't find a job.
I am asking for your vote, and I am asking for your support. But I am also asking you for something much much more than that. I am asking you to run with me. Together, we can bring about a new generation of leadership.
Mandy Powers Norell is a local attorney and is running for the S.C. Senate 16 District seat.