Mark & Louise Scarlett
When I heard last year that Elise Sefanik had voted for the disastrous Republican healthcare bill, despite the objections of thousands of people across the North Country who would lose their coverage and from the hospitals that would care for them, I knew we needed to find someone better to represent us. We needed to find someone who would not cave to political expediency at the expense of the people she was elected to serve, someone who is unafraid to look people in the eye, to listen and learn from what they have to say. Someone who is committed to solving problems in ways that bring people together, rather than drive them apart. And, the first person I thought of was Tedra Cobb.
I first met Tedra in the early 1990s when I was working for what was then Hepburn Hospital and Tedra came there to discuss the new Aids Education and Outreach Program that she was helping to get off the ground. She worked with that program for years, crossing the North Country to provide education and prevention services to anyone in need. And, the breadth of needs that she saw led her to the creation of the St. Lawrence County Health Initiative where she worked to secure state and federal funding for desperately needed preventative screening and care. The Tedra I knew then was tireless in her commitment to helping others, and to working hard to pull people and resources together to solve problems. She was no less dedicated and hardworking as a County Legislator, running against a popular local dairy farmer, a conservative Republican who was then Vice-Chairman of the Board, and winning because of her determination to meet people on their terms, going door-to-door to hear them out, to listen, and to learn how she might bridge differences and widen the common ground where problems can be solved.
And, that is the Tedra Cobb I still know, and who Louise and I are supporting, because she knows what it takes to raise a family and scramble to make a living in the North Country, because she has spent her lifetime working hard to bridge differences and solve problems in ways that make this a better place to live, and because we believe she is precisely the kind of person we need in Washington, now more than ever before.