I am a California-born, Idaho-raised gal. My parents moved us to Idaho in 1970 when I was only four years old. All of my education was in Jerome except for when I was in 5th grade and my parents farmed on Bell Rapids. I attended the first semester in Hagerman Elementary until harvest was over. After that, I went back to Jerome.
After graduating from Jerome High School in 1984, I married my high school sweetheart Tom Zuiderveld in 1985 and followed him to California on this great adventure of husband and wife. We had our first and second sons in California, and, shortly after we had our second son, we moved back to Idaho—after all, we believe it is the best place in the world to raise a family.
We were not done having sons, however; we were blessed with one more eight years later who is a born-and-raised Idahoan. After living in Wendell, Buhl, and Hagerman, we finally made it full circle and settled back where we started—Jerome. We have been self-employed for nearly 30 years in the dairy industry, trimming cattle. I say “we,” but it has been mostly Tom; I just kept the books and encouraged him to keep going despite the frequently extreme weather conditions.
As we grew older and wiser, we decided to expand our income sources by becoming independent sales reps for a synthetic oil company. This job is less physically demanding of Tom and it will be something we can work at until we decide to retire. I doubt that will happen soon, though; having a purpose and a reason to get up and out each day is what keeps you young and healthy… right?
Why am I running?
I see this opportunity more as a political mission than as a campaign, and, just so you know, you will not hear that word from my mouth very often. I believe “campaign” focuses more on the candidate when the focus should be on the people. I am running because I see too many hurting people who are not being heard. As a public servant and representative, I want to keep to the true meaning of these words.
SERVANT: one that serves others • a public servant; especially: one that performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer. (Merriam-Webster)
REPRESENTATIVE: standing or acting for another especially through delegated authority • of, based on, or constituting a government in which the many are represented by persons chosen from among them usually by election. (Merriam-Webster)
What are my qualifications?
According to the U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 2, clause 2, “No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.”
While I realize these basic qualifications are for federal representatives, I still meet them all. I believe my best gift or quality is my heart to serve the people. Hard work, strong moral convictions, and the ability to learn will help make up for anything I may lack. Experience is only gained through time, and we are all more experienced at life and work today than we were when we started. The point is that to get experience, we have to start somewhere. Most importantly, I will glean wisdom and knowledge from the people I represent. We will learn and grow together. I cannot take on this mission without you.
As this journey begins, I look forward to meeting you, listening to you, and working alongside you. Many hands make light work. It is time to roll up our sleeves and get working. Our children, our state, and our country are counting on us.
I look forward to being your next Idaho State Representative for District 25A.