My name is Michela Skelton, and I am ready to be the representative for the 50th House District.  The citizens of the 50th House District need someone that will hear all of their voices and stand up for them in Jefferson City.

I grew up in rural Alabama in a place that didn’t have fences to keep people out, but to keep horses and goats in.  My brothers and I spent summer afternoons with other neighbor kids wading in the creek, fishing in the pond, and climbing trees.  When my father retired from the military after 20 years of service and moved us to suburban Indianapolis a part of me was lost.  I finally found it again, that quiet country living, when I moved to Boone County with my husband to raise our children five years ago.  I am proud to live in a community where my children will be able to wander and live a life closer to the land where we swap eggs from our own chickens for honey or fresh goat milk from the neighbors.

Service and hard work have been a part of my identity since I was a child.  My parents met when they were both serving in the Air Force and continue to serve our country and their communities today with my mother working as a military contractor and my father as a state of Indiana employee.  I began my own working life at 15 as a page at the local library, and continued working through getting my bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public administration and policy analysis from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  Like many others I suffered a period of unemployment after the market crash of 2008, and found myself underemployed once I did get a new job.  I decided to go back to school to get my law degree and continued to work multiple part time jobs to make ends meet.  Despite working and a good scholarship I still graduated with $60,000 in student loan debt.

My son was born my last semester of law school.  So, when I started looking for work after graduation I had two choices, take a job with a private employer that would require 60-80 hours a week of work and be an absent parent so I could pay off my loans, or work for the Senate for pay that after my daughter was born paid only for child care and health insurance and little else.  I made the choice of taking the lower pay because family is a top priority for me.  And, it wasn’t the low pay that ultimately made me leave the Senate.  I left because after working on bills for senators’ offices I would have to watch those same senators on the floor unable to answer questions about their bills because they didn’t know what was in it.  I realized I wasn’t working for the senators and the people they were elected to serve, but the lobbyists that walked into my office requesting bills for the senators to carry.

I want to serve as the representative of the 50th House District because I believe everyone should have a chance to get ahead, but right now our government is being bought by the millionaires and billionaires and out of state special interests.  I know what it is like to work hard and never seem to get ahead.  I want to be the voice for everyone who is working hard and facing unending obstacles and those left behind by our corrupted system altogether.  A representative should be there to serve the people of their district, not special interests and big money.  I am ready to stand up for you and my door and my heart will always be open to hear you and fight for your struggles.