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'Everyone should have the experience of running for office'

Dixie Kolditz
Dixie Kolditz

One of my favorite things to do at NationBuilder is talk to first-time candidates about their campaigns. Everyone I talk to has a great story about why they're running and how they came to use our organizing platform. Dixie Kolditz, running for state representative in Southwest Washington, is one of those first time candidates.

Dixie and her husband, Ross, own two small businesses in Washington with a combined 160 employees. She was encouraged to run by her local congresswoman and has been using NationBuilder to keep up with donors. "Everyone should have the experience of running for office," she said. "You really get to understand what's going on in the country, what you need to do to be involved. You understand the stresses."

Kolditz understands the value of political engagement more than most. She was born in South Africa and worked as a reporter and then an election education volunteer leading up to the country’s first free elections. "You think about it and we had to educate blacks who had never voted for anything. We never had that civic education."

When it came to running for office herself, Dixie discussed the decision for about a year with her husband. Ross was the one who found NationBuilder while researching website options and set up the early infrastructure for her campaign.

"You get to this point where you want to fix things," Kolditz said. "I should do something. Win or lose, I'm going to take away the fact that you have a lot of really committed Americans out there. They want to make a difference. They may not want to run for office, but they want to give something. For myself, you get your ups and downs - but I think I can handle anything now. I can handle a lot more than I thought I could. And, my husband is amazing."