Michelle Harris believes in the old-school way of campaigning.
The Buckeye Union High School graduate is knocking on doors and shaking hands with constituents in an attempt to win the Legislative District 13 state senator spot.
“I’m really excited to be running and getting out and talking to people,” Harris said.
“People are often surprised when someone comes to knock on their door. I can come and ask you questions and you can get answers. We can share issues. That’s what I’m working on for the next several weeks.”
A Democrat, Harris was raised in Buckeye and spent nearly 30 years as a Russian linguist in the Air Force.
“My uncle was a linguist in the Air Force,” she said about the inspiration behind her job. “Before I joined the military, I was taking classes at Glendale Community College. They had different languages, Russian being one of them.
“I was interested in learning languages and the culture associated with them. Those two things combined made me interested in that career field.”
After retiring, she decided to return to Buckeye and was instrumental in getting wastewater pricing adjusted in her community, Verrado.
“We were experiencing higher and higher water bills in the community,” she said. “They approved an increase of up to $120 for just the sewer aspect of the bills. I got the community organized. I lobbied the Arizona Corporation Commission to put a freeze on the increase and order a rate case.
“I intervened on behalf of the community. It took about three years to go through the entire process. Our wastewater bills are on the decrease.”
It was during that process that Harris realized the impact of state officials. Harris is running as a clean elections candidate. She is a qualified candidate and will be on the primary ballot.
“I decided to run because I have four generations of my family who live here,” she said. “I see that we’re not addressing the problems that are affecting my family and other families.
“I really believe we have issues facing us that need to be addressed. They’re not being addressed at the state legislature.”
The issues include those related to health care.
“My parents are older; they are in their 80s and live in Sun City,” she said. “There are a lot of medical care issues, like the price of prescription drugs.”
At the heart of her campaign, however, is to see a large problem and fix it.
“That goes for small problems, too,” she said. “I think there’s so much room to address all kinds of issues and problems in our district. This is really interesting and exciting to me. I’m looking forward to representing the people.”