Congressional candidate speaks to students
Alabama District 7 congressional candidate Terri Sewell visited a University of Alabama honors seminar Wednesday and discussed her road to the congressional seat as a black woman.
If elected, Sewell would be the first woman to win an elected seat in Congress for Alabama. Winning would make her the first black woman to win a seat representing the state, and she would represent the district including Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Selma.
Sewell visited the class, Women and Political Leadership, to discuss how she has campaigned for the open District 7 seat. The Selma native said coming from a small Alabama town did not keep her from reaching her goals.
"I didn't know that I wasn't supposed to do well," Sewell said. "Ignorance is bliss sometimes and I didn't know that I wasn't supposed to succeed."
She continued that her campaign has been grounded on those Selma roots and has continually reiterated that an Ivy League education has not distanced her from the people she would represent in Alabama.
"What we have grounded our message on the idea that local girl done good, but I came home," Sewell said.
J.J. Fadely, a junior majoring in communication studies, said that more important than proximity is the idea of her possible election being a step forward for the state government.
"Her running is excellent," Fadely said. "It really is a man's world right now and for any woman to get any position like that is great and showcases female empowerment."
Fadely continued that Sewell's campaign means a great deal to the idea of gender equality in politics. She said her possible election would show that women need to be taken seriously in the representation of Alabama.
Sewell said she was in the race for the right reasons. She added that what made her interested in the position was the idea that she could help the public in her hometown and the surrounding areas.
"I knew win, lose or draw, I have been giving two years of my life getting to know the district that I love," Sewell said.
Sewell continued to describe her campaign as one built on honesty. You have to be who you are because that is what the public responds to, she said.
"I never thought that this was about me," she said. "It's about the public."
Taylor Price, a sophomore with an undecided major, said that what makes candidates like Terri Sewell worth voting for is their being real.
"So many times you hear people running for public office saying cut and dry things," Price said. "Sewell is a woman, making her a different kind of candidate, but more importantly, she is a real person who cares about the real people who are in the district she is running to represent."
He said, even though he is a Georgia native, he thought Sewell being elected would be a step in the right direction for the state of Alabama.