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Podulke-Smith has the work ethic and the moral compass to lead

Ideas and opinions in this letter are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the stance of this paper. The author of this letter has paid for its placement. During the League of Women Voters Forum on October 19, it was abundantly clear that Laurel Podulke-Smith is the right choice to fill the open seat for Olmsted County District 1 County Commissioner. I attended with my 7 year-old daughter, who also has been volunteering by door knocking in the district, making her Laurel’s youngest supporter. My little one is eager to see a woman she looks up to in a leadership position in her city. As we listened to Laurel’s thoughtful demeanor in answering questions, and saw on display her knowledge of how Olmsted County government impacts the day-to-day lives of residents, we were sure that she has what it takes to make our county a vibrant place to call home.

I have known Laurel since starting work at Mayo Clinic in 2016 and was immediately struck by her extraordinary gift for educational work at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center. I was immensely impressed as I came to witness her skillful communication with members of the center as she helped them realize their health and wellness potential. Laurel’s deep commitment to the values enshrined by the Mayo brothers is undeniable by all who have the pleasure to be in her presence as patient, student or colleague.

When Laurel filed her paperwork to run for this open seat, she made a commitment to meet as many people of district 1 as possible. For the past five months, Laurel has walked district 1 neighborhoods nearly everyday, and personally knocked on over 6000 doors of Rochester homes. During this time, she has spoken with over 1000 community members, and keenly listened to their top concerns, taking to heart their interests and values. Even though Laurel may not agree with every voter she engages with, she understands that almost everyone wants a champion who will advocate for them and work toward a common good. People want elected officials who understand the importance of sensible and effective county governance. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Laurel will be that voice on the county board for the people of the district.

The work ethic that Laurel has shown through her actions in meeting so many people of the district and her profound curiosity to gain in depth understanding of Olmsted County government justifies her presence on our county board. She will work as diligently as county commissioner as she has worked while running for that very seat. I urge all voters in district 1 to cast their ballot for Laurel Podulke-Smith for Olmsted County Commissioner.