House District 66 is a prime example of what is wrong with Virginia politics. Kirk Cox (R) has held the seat since 1989 — unchallenged since 1995. More than two decades of complacency, with more of the same ole same ole. Prior to Cox, John Dicks (D) held the seat from 1982-89. This district is well past due for a change and a breath of fresh air. Katie Sponsler is that breath of fresh air. She has the passion, spirit, and work ethic to be the change the 66th needs.
Please invest in VA HD 66 and Katie Sponsler. We are working hard in Chesterfield County and beyond to get our voices heard and represented. Let’s flip this entire state blue!
Katie has worked with LWCC — Liberal Women of Chesterfield County & Beyond — tirelessly. She’s helped deliver paper to local schools when their budgets ran low. She participated in our first grassroots environmental forum in our county. Katie has knocked doors, planted trees, listened to constituents in the district tell of their concerns, given interviews, and rolled up her sleeves and jumped in any where that was needed.
I sat down and asked Katie some questions about growing up and running for office —
Wright: Who was your favorite superhero when you were a kid?
Sponsler: My favorite superhero(s) when I was a kid were the X-Men, they are still my favorites. I think they won me over by being consistently co-ed, with strengths that involved their minds as well as mutant physical powers. I always related to the idea of doing the right thing even though they often weren’t valued or accepted as heroes. I love Wolverine, but I think Jean Grey wins my perennial favorite award, she struggles the most with her dual purpose and pushing to go forward despite having the most clear view of the ugliness that sometimes possesses humans.
Wright: What occupation did you want to be when you grew up?
Sponsler: As a little girl I wanted to be a veterinarian, but after realizing I’d be required to put animals to sleep, I set my sights on becoming a linguistic anthropologist. I love the power of language and sociology, it seemed the best way to combine the two, and I idolized Jane Goodall.
Wright: What occupation did you actually become?
Sponsler: I worked for years doing a little bit of everything. For 6 years I was a aircraft mechanic working with weapons systems on the A-10 and F-16, 5 years as a cook, fitness specialist, and readiness manager for Air Force services, and finally for 4 years I was a Law Enforcement Ranger with the National Park Service. I have also been a waitress, personal trainer, and retail sales associate as second and third jobs during the time. The most important thing to me as a “career” is to be of service.
Wright: What is your favorite season in VA and why?
Sponsler: I love the fall, the changing colors, and the “not too hot” temperature. Of all the things one can do outside, climbing mountains is my favorite. Autumn in Shenandoah is the best place and time to do that.
Wright: What is your favorite aspect about your community and the people that live there?
Sponsler: The friendliness and passion of my community is my favorite thing about it. I love the fact that I can take my kids to a new park or museum every weekend and there’s always a new story to tell or new trail to hike. Every year I deliver homemade Christmas cookies to each of my neighbors, I’ve done this my whole life, but my community now is the only place where I receive hand-written thank you notes from all my neighbors afterwards, whether they celebrate Christmas or not. When I need a last minute dog sitter my neighbors are always willing to help. They see me out working in the yard and come by to chat and offer a hand. I live in a genuinely kind and open community and could ask for nothing better.
Wright: Who taught you “wrong from right”?
Sponsler: My mother and my father taught me right from wrong in almost all aspects of my life. They always taught me to choose kindness when torn. I also had a priest as a young girl named Father Murphy, that always honored my questions and reminded me that the important part of the message was love each other and the rest was just details. When I struggled with my faith because the church could seem to devalue women, he would remind me of my value and direct me to the bible instead of the Catechism to stories of women of value and importance.
Wright: What is your favorite book or poem?
Sponsler: Favorite book or poem is really difficult because there are so many, I love “A conversation with the taxman about poetry” by Vladimir Mayakovsky, “I am Waiting” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and “Thanksgiving” by e.e. cummings. I love the intersection of politics in poetry. Books, we’ll go with top 5: The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, What is the What, by Dave Eggars, Gravity’s Rainbow, by Thomas Pychon, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Truman Capote, and All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy.
Wright: What is your favorite TV show?
Sponsler: I don’t watch much TV, but I will cuddle up with reruns of Gilmore Girls any day.
Wright: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Sponsler: I am most proud of my daughter. I raised her alone, and she loves books and people. She wants to make the word a better place and believes in kindness and hard work. At 18 she is graduating at the top of her class and going to a private university to major in Intelligence studies so that she may work for the FBI or Interpol as an analyst. She received merit scholarships to pay for her education and truly hopes to be a force for good. I not only raised her alone, we were largely below the poverty level for her childhood, statistically she should be a failure, but she’s so much more than I could have hoped for, and every time I look at her, I get to think, “I did that.”
Wright: What do you wish to accomplish once you win the House 66 seat?
Sponsler: I want to protect our air and water for my children and help create a Virginia where all my neighbors feel safe and valuable. I want to accomplish a government for the people, a government that serves us.