Discover more from Shelby's Campaign Diary
One year since the election
Running for office has only made me stronger and deepened my commitment to progress.
I’m officially done moving from Tallahassee! It took a couple of weeks, but Benji and I have finally settled into my parents’ home in Central Florida — the same home I grew up in before moving away for college at age 17. My parents and I drifted apart in college, but grew close again during the pandemic. Living at home might be hell for some of you lol but I’ve actually enjoyed it so far! And I’m sure a few years from now, I’ll cherish the memories we made during this time.
Also, thank you to everyone who showed up for the farewell party! It was such a nice time and a timely reminder of how our campaign united people and built such a caring community.
Running for office was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life. Granted, I’m only 26, but still, I’m sure I’ll be saying the same thing at 50. It’s physically draining, mentally exhausting, and emotional! I couldn’t even tell you how many times I cried on the trail — when my campaign manager resigned to work on a congressional race, when close colleagues said they couldn’t publicly support or endorse me, when I was told I should drop out about because “we already have our candidate”. But, despite all that, I’m so glad I ran and stood up for what I believe in — which is a government that protects and serves its people.
Before running for office, I led a campaign to encourage our City Commissioners to keep the lights on for families destabilized by the pandemic. Before my intervention, families were losing power without a disconnection notice and struggling to pay off mounting utility debt without knowledge of existing local and state relief funds. At a time of utter devastation, I was doing more to protect and uplift our community than our own elected Commissioners — which is a shame. And that’s why I decided to run for office and attempt to make life better for us and our neighbors.
Losing hurts and for a few months after the election, I wanted to hide and erase the experience from my brain — which I know is ridiculous, but that’s how I felt. Now, I’m very proud of our campaign and standing up against greed, corruption, and neglect, in spite of very little resources.
In time, I’ll divulge more about my experience on the campaign trail and my 10 years in Tallahassee politics, but I just wanted to write a short note to commemorate the anniversary and also to extend gratitude to you all for sticking around as I adjust to this next chapter in my life!
I still plan on running again, in Tallahassee, because I still believe our capital city has so much potential and there are people worth saving, but for now, I’m going to continue to rest, explore other interests, and invest in my professional career. I hope you all continue to stay inspired to use your voice for good and resist apathy.