Candidates on wheels

Darren Jernigan

I came across a brilliant write-up the other day from one of my favorite new SCI organizations, BACKBONES. Did you know there are four candidates with spinal cord injuries running for some kind of political office this year?

They’ve compiled a great list, profiling each amazing person. I always thought I had my finger on the pulse of the disability community, but when it comes to the political side of things, I guess I’m not as aware as I thought.

For example, I always knew about Jim Langevin, the U.S. senator from Rhode Island who has been serving since 2001 and is also a C5-6 quadriplegic. The fact that he was able to get voted into office over and over again, always impressed me. One would think voters may worry he’s not able to perform in a viable capacity because of his disability, but that hasn’t been the case. He’s been reelected continually since beginning his political career.

And then you have three other candidates who are trying to snag their first kind of political office this year, and all who have spinal cord injuries: Darren Jernigan (running for TN State House), Wanda Rohl (US Rep. race for IL) and Stan Morse (running for WA State House). They all have really awesome stories, and you can read about each of them here.

But I have to admit, it’s been hard for me to get into politics this year. Truly. I used to care so much about politics when I was 10 years younger, and so much less jaded. Now, all I see are two parties trying to pretend they’re different, but really aren’t that different at all. If there’s ever a viable third party one day, THAT’S what I’ll get really excited again, but I digress.

These four candidates rock the political casbah, and make me feel a tinge lazy (ha). For me, running and serving for/in any kind of political office seems like one of the most oof da-difficult things in the world. Having to take care of my body is so much work. How do they do it?? I glad they do it though.

Why? Political superstars like Sen. Langevin prove that none of us have any excuse for reaching for our dreams.

Have you ever considered running for some kind of office?

Read about the candidates in more detail

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