Running for elected office has always been in the back of Cindy Carlson’s mind. However, she felt she couldn’t do it while running a business and raising a family. 

Last year, Carlson had the opportunity to stand in for Representative Priscilla Giddings, a former state legislator. At first, she thought she wasn’t qualified, but that began to change as she realized the legislature needed more conservatives.

“This is part of what I’ve always done,” Carlson said. “It’s relationship building, a little bit of organization, reading material with a fine-tooth comb just trying to understand it. It’s all things that I’ve done with contracts and insurance agreements and all kinds of things I’ve done in business. It’s just applying it to the political arena.”

The relationship building with fellow legislators has been Carlson’s highlight of her first term in the legislature. 

“They think like I do,” Carlson said. ” I have a lot in common with many of them. We’re all trying to do good things for our state and the people that we represent. That’s kind of exciting to me.”

Carlson said these relationships also surprised her. 

“I will have lifetime relationships with them because they think they have the same values as I do,” Carlson said. “They’ll be lifelong friends.”

Carlson sat on the education committee for the last legislative session where the literary content of libraries became a hot topic. Carlson expressed her passion for this issue. 

“I’m working really hard to try to give direction to schools and libraries so that they can come up with policies that make sense for their communities, and yet do not allow minors to have access to material that’s harmful to them and that will affect them for the rest of their lives,” Carlson said. 

Carlson advised women and any seeking elected office to be firm in their beliefs. 

“Politics is not it’s not the easiest thing to get involved in and you have to be very strong,” Carlson said. “Women tend to be emotional and you need to be very strong in your beliefs and stick to them.”

She also encouraged those wanting to run for office to not be afraid to do it. 

“If you believe that you are qualified, you are,” Carlson said. “If you have a passion for something, do it. If you have a passion for it, you’ll be really good at it.”

To learn more about Senator Carlson, visit her website.