I’m writing to you to endorse and ask for the support of Jacque Sample for representative of Missouri District 44, on behalf of myself and my late husband, Sen. Chuck Graham, who was working with Sample’s campaign the months before and up to the time of his sudden death.

Jacque Sample is the preferable candidate not just because we hold similar values.

She is also the best person for this leadership role because Jacque does not feel responsible to only the constituents who vote for her party. Jacque feels a responsibility to every family in her district and state.

Sample is the only one of the candidates in this race who will listen to all voices, not just those who agree with her.

When my husband was running for office, he didn’t believe in “knock lists,” or only visiting the homes of people affiliated with his party. He believed in knocking on — or in his case throwing, tennis balls at — the door of every home in a neighborhood to speak with and hear everyone. He and Jacque shared the belief that on Election Day people vote for a person, not just a party, and that when considering legislation you’re not representing a party. You’re representing people with both individual and collective needs.

Sample brings decades of work in education and health care, two of the most important topics in Missouri and the nation today.

She continues to be an advocate for educators, who are working harder than ever and under circumstances none of us were prepared for. Her goals of equal access to quality internet and technology for all students; paying teachers fairly; and providing schools with the support they need to teach include plans for providing resources to meet other needs of students, e.g. nutrition, mental health, crowd control, providing supplies, etc.

Our nation is so polarized right now that we need to turn toward leaders who have not just passion, but also compassion. Jacque Sample as our representative can lead us to a better place.

Kathryn Graham is a mother, a widow, an advocate, a community volunteer and an engaged citizen.

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