A Democrat, the business attorney from Northampton will face Republican incumbent state Rep. Wendi Thomas.
Age (as of Election Day): 55
Position Sought: Pennsylvania State House of Representatives 178
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Family: Ann Marie, 55, Don, 55, Sariel, 21 and Olivia, 19 and Ann Marie’s mother, Katherine, 75+
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government? No
Education University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Finance and Benjamin Franklin Scholar; and University of Pennsylvania, The Law School, Juris Doctorate
I have spent decades working here in Pennsylvania, with 20+ years working as a business person and an attorney with concentration in recycling and environmental protection. This has taught me how to bring people together and get things done. As a wife and the mom of two college-aged students, I can tell you personally that reaching consensus isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it is something I have learned to do throughout my life and career.
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office: I am not a politician.
Campaign website: voteannmariemitchell.com
Why are you seeking elective office?
I’m running for state representative because politics is personal, and we can no longer afford the status quo in Harrisburg. I care deeply about the issues that are affecting the people in my district – they have deeply affected me and my family as well. Growing up, I was taught that everyone should give back to their community. My 20+ years working as a business person here in Bucks taught me how to bring people together and get things done – even when the issues are difficult – a skill that is more important now than ever. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and start putting our community and people first.
The single most pressing issue facing our state/nation is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
Our state government is totally dysfunctional. I’m running for state representative because we can no longer afford the status quo in Harrisburg. It’s time to start getting real things done to help our community. It’s no secret there are big problems that we need to address – starting with the current health and economic crisis. Now is the time for responsible balanced independent leadership grounded in facts and science, with a new representative with service at their core to make sure Pennsylvanians can safely get back to work and school. We need to do everything we can to lower the cost of prescription drugs, pass (not just talk about) paid family leave, and ensure that no one loses their health coverage due to a pre-existing condition or job loss.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidate seeking this post?
I know how to get to the heart of an issue. I am not afraid to have tough conversations, and I will fight for the people of our townships and our district. I’m not a career politician. Unlike the current representative, I don’t take money from corporations and won’t hand out big corporate tax breaks that take money out of the pockets of hardworking Pennsylvanians and make corporate lobbyists rich. I’m a working mom and a daughter of a senior, and I know the value of a dollar. My Wharton and law school background and experience, gives me the tools to do this job. I have over 20 years experience dealing with complex business issues and getting agreements done with people who don’t see eye to eye. I am running because I want to give back to the people of my district.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the incumbent failed the district?
As the daughter of a gun violence survivor and having lost family to COVID-19, I am most concerned about the health and safety of our community here in Bucks County, and my opponents’ votes show that she is not. My opponent votes with her party 97 percdent of the time. She voted to recklessly open all businesses in Pennsylvania immediately, before the spread of coronavirus slowed down, before adequate testing capacity was in place and before front line workers had the personal protective equipment necessary to stay safe. And then she pushed to distort Bucks County coronavirus statistics to reopen, circumventing state health guidelines. She also has been vocal about supporting putting more guns in schools and has voted to put untrained security guards with guns into our Bucks County schools – putting the safety of our kids, our first responders, and our community at risk. She again proved she was not looking out for our families when she gave a massive tax break to the fracking industry in Harrisburg after taking thousands of dollars from big oil and gas and energy companies. I don’t take any money from corporations or hand out big corporate tax breaks and instead I will work for hardworking Pennsylvanians and their families.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform
I’ve heard from folks in this district, the seniors struggling with rising taxes and water costs, the parents concerned about school safety, worrying about their kids drinking contaminated water, and the people frustrated by stagnant wages, lost jobs, and struggling businesses. The underlying healthcare and opioid crisis affecting us all have been made even worse by COVID-19. As their neighbor, I share their concerns. Things will not change for the better unless we send not only a fighter to Harrisburg, but someone who cares deeply about the issues facing Bucks County and this district. I will fight to make sure corporations pay their fair share and families can have tax relief, to fully fund our public education so that every child has a shot at success, and to ensure that we can get our economy back on track in a responsible and safe way, so that as we return to work we can stay working.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
I have over 20 years experience dealing with complex business issues and getting agreements done with people who don’t see eye to eye. I have had a successful career and I want to bring my business and law experience and Wharton background to work for the people of this District.
The best advice ever shared with me was …
There is no substitution for hard work. Be kind and treat others like you would like to be treated. If you need something done, be prepared to do it yourself.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I have an open door. I don’t do political double speak, and I remember where I come from. I know the difficulty of having aging parents, the cost of living in the district and the pressures on working parents and our students. I care about the people of this district, and our children’s futures. I know that issues often are interconnected and that we can’t count on someone else to do the thinking for us. I believe people deserve access to affordable healthcare, including mental healthcare. Families are suffering from a lack of good wages, a terrible job market and overpriced healthcare and pharmaceuticals. We cannot allow people tied to lobbyists to then make the laws in Harrisburg. It is time – way past time – for a change.
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