Candidate Name: Eileen Dougherty
What office are you running for?
South Carolina House of Representatives District 115
With which party are you running for office?
Why are you running for office?
Like 1 in 2 Americans, I was born with a pre-existing condition and in 2013 I was given a second chance: a double lung transplant. That transplant saved my life and along with it came a renewed sense of purpose built on a lifetime of service. That purpose: to serve my community and build a brighter future for all South Carolinians built on compassion and sound experience.
I’m running because here in South Carolina, we need to hit the undo button. Our leaders have neglected us. Women’s health is under attack. Our schools and health rank bottom in the nation. The climate crisis is at our front door. Columbia is failing us and it’s time we had a representative with a fresh perspective, new energy and bold ideas.
What is the biggest issue facing your community and how do you propose helping?
House District 115 faces many challenges including a lack of quality, affordable, accessible health care; an educational system which continually fails our children; and a worsening climate crisis that is threatening our coastal economy and our way of life. These challenges are daunting but not insurmountable. The single issue stopping us from making meaningful progress on those challenges is hyperpartisanship. I’ll help this issue by doing what I have done for my career: by working across the aisle, bringing people together and putting aside differences to deliver meaningful results for my community.
How do we fix the partisan divide in our country and start working together again?
The first thing we have to do is recognize that we have far more similarities than differences. When I worked in fisheries, I brought people from diverse backgrounds who had different and oppositional views to each other all in the same room and we hammered out solutions that worked. I’ve recently done the same thing in my community with flood survivors, nonprofits and community leaders. Although we all come from different backgrounds and have different experiences we have been able to work together to start addressing sea level rise and climate insecurity – two of the most pressing challenges of our time.
The issues facing our community are not partisan issues – they are people issues. If we want to bridge the partisan divide we need representation with demonstrated experience in bringing folks together and delivering meaningful change. I have that experience and bring that to the State House.
Who is your hero?
Harriet Tubman, Jane Goodall
What are your hobbies?
My everyday go-to: running. My Saturday evening: a walk on the beach or a movie with Matt. My self-care time: a good mystery book like P.D. James or Elizabeth George. My Sunday with the kids: board games! Any given weekday: exercising my democracy muscles by attending a local meeting. I love learning, so I am a sucker for a free training.
What is the most recent book you read?
“Represent: The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World,” by June Diane Raphael and Kate Black. It was recommended to me by a local author and voter.
Do you have any kids/pets/talking houseplants?
I have two incredible step daughters – Mattie, who is a freshman in college and Mary, who is a freshman in high school. One of the reasons this race is so important to me is because of these two. They will live with the consequences of the choices our elected officials make today. I want to build a brighter future for them and for folks all across South Carolina.
How can our readers get involved in your campaign?
Help me get the word out about my candidacy, readers! In 2018, the Republican incumbent hung onto the seat by just a little more than 2%. This seat is flippable and our campaign will take us over the finish line. We welcome volunteers and my fundraising people would be angry if I left out that I eagerly welcome your financial support too – $5, $15, $35 or any other amount large or small. Feel free to visit my website at www.electeileen.com to learn more, donate and get involved!
What question do you wish we’d asked, and what is your answer?
What is your favorite food? And the answer is field fresh tomatoes – yum!
Post created from answers submitted by candidate to our Meet the Candidate survey.
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