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Blair Walsingham: A goal to serve

BY BRITTNEE NAVE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
 
Serving her country has been a lifelong goal for Blair Walsingham.
At the age of 17, Walsingham, who comes from a family of veterans, enlisted in the Air Force to serve her country. During what would be her last year in service, Walsingham, a single mother at the time, found out she had cervical cancer and was undeployable.
 
Following an honorable discharge, Walsingham attended college and adjusted back to civilian life.
She balanced a full-time job, a part-time job, being a mother and being a student. Though the desire to serve her country remained, the opportunity did not present itself until now. 
“I’ve always wanted to run for office,” she explained. “I see it as a very noble thing to do.”
Walsingham is now a mother of four, a wife and lives on a farm in Hawkins County. Now that life has settled down, she is ready to serve. 
“I now have the availability to run for office while still working, having a farm with all the animals and kiddos,” she said. “I want to do what I can to serve the community.”
Walsingham explained that additional reasons she wants to run is after hearing and seeing the hardships with poverty of others. In outlining her campaign this is a major aspect she focused on. 
“The most important issue is addressing poverty here all across the district and nationwide,” she said. “Here in East Tennessee, we have ten of the poorest counties in all of Tennessee, and eight of those are in District One.”
Walsingham elaborated that this poverty includes lack of opportunities with jobs, education, owning a home, internet access, utilities, basic necessities, etc.
To combat these issues, she wants to implement the Freedom Dividend, which includes a universal form of basic income, a higher priority of internet connections in rural communities, supporting farmers (along with legalization of cannabis and creating a hemp processing plant), criminal justice reform and updating school systems to be more individualized for students.
In terms of education, Walsingham said that in addition to making learning more individualized for the student’s needs, she also wanted more opportunities available than just college, such as the ability to learn trades. 
“These are all high priorities,” she said. “It’s not just one thing or another, it’s really all of these things combined to open the door of opportunity for everybody.”
On why people should vote for her, she said she is just like everybody else. 
“I’m out here working and raising a family and facing all the same challenges,” she said. “I’m going to steer policies in the right direction based on data and what people need, and not based on corporations big business buying people out.”
Walsingham, who is the Democratic runner in the race, also hopes to break the “party line” in which people vote for candidates merely because of what political party they are affiliated with.
Instead, she said people should vote for candidates based on what policies they are representing.
For more information on Walsingham, you can check out her Facebook page, or go to www.blairforcongress.com