One of the wonderful things about being a public servant at the local level is that, most often, leaders set aside partisan allegiances and come to the table to solve problems for the people and community they serve. Leaders are elected, however, through the political party system and you deserve to know what we stand for. Party politics wasn\u2019t controversial in Darien until 2016. Since then, many folks have asked me why, as woman and mother of four daughters, I remain a registered Republican. I\u2019m grateful for the opportunity to reflect deeply on this question and share my thoughts with you here. Let me begin by sharing what being a Republican emphatically does not mean to me. Being Republican does not mean I blindly adhere to a national or state party platform. Quite the contrary. I\u2019m an individual with my own core beliefs, and feel grateful for our party\u2019s \u201cbig tent\u201d mentality. While my opinions on social issues may differ from others\u2019, we are unquestionably bound by the principles of individual rights, personal responsibility and freedom. Being Republican is more than a political label for me, it\u2019s a community - a family of like-minded Americans who share my values and inspire me to lead by example as a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, mentor, volunteer and community leader. It was my Republican values that gave me the confidence in 2010 to speak up in support of gay rights and for a woman\u2019s right to choose. I believe family and faith are critical elements to a well-functioning society. I believe the dissolution of the American family is the greatest human crisis of my lifetime. As the daughter and sister to men who put on our nation\u2019s uniform and risked their lives to protect America, I am a fierce patriot and believe in a strong national defense. I believe in the brilliance of our Founding Fathers who valued individual freedom and liberty above all else. I believe in a limited government that exists solely to protect these rights. I believe in self-determination and the unparalleled power of capitalism to lift people out of poverty. I believe in law and order, educational choice and racial equality. It means a great deal to me that Republicans starting with Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president, fought for the abolishment of slavery and for ensuring every American enjoys the liberties and protections set forth in the Bill of Rights. History speaks with eternal wisdom and we would do well to remember and respect its lessons as we wrestle with political and social ideologies pushing America further towards becoming a socialist, Marxist society. I believe strongly in the pioneer spirit and in America\u2019s founding principles; forged in the sweat and blood of our forefathers, defended by our military and pursued by immigrants who know America as the land of opportunity. As a Republican, I believe in hope over hate, freedom over force, and self-reliance over victimhood. Free from government interference, I believe in the unlimited potential and capacity of every human being. I believe in fairness, equal and unlimited opportunity and equal pay for equal effort. I believe in the power of capitalism to create wealth and in our founding principle that taxation without representation is tyranny. I believe that government does not create jobs or wealth and should get out of the way of innovation by reducing burdensome regulations and taxes. Most importantly, as a Republican, I believe that Americans are good and our differences only make us stronger. I reject the new \u2018cancel culture\u2019 and the notion that America is systemically bad. Framers of the Declaration of Independence understood that all humans have inalienable rights. These rights have brought more freedom and more prosperity to more people than any country in the history of mankind. America is the sum of a beautiful, diverse melting pot of people and ideas. We have, in our short history, survived dark days only to emerge stronger because We The People held tight to our founding principles. We are an exceptional nation, a beacon of hope in the world. I will proudly do my small part to protect and defend this great country. This is why I am Republican.