She’s a young Latina. She’s from Illinois. She’s running for Congress. And she’s the polar opposite of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
She’s conservative. She’s smart. She’s gorgeous. She supports law enforcement. She actually loves America. Her idol is Ronald Reagan. And she’s not afraid to ruffle feathers.
Her name is Catalina Lauf, and she’s 26-years-old. Her goal is to steal a Democratic-held seat outside Chicago.
If she’s able to pull it off, she’d destroy Bronx-Queens representative’s record as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
She announced her bid for Illinois 14th Congressional District on Tuesday, taking on incumbent Democrat Lauren Underwood.
Lauf is a former Trump administration adviser and describes herself as “Latina by heart, American first”.
She was born to an American father and Guatemalan mother. And she’s a huge supporter of law enforcement.
“I have and always have been, a supporter of our First Responders,” Lauf told Law Enforcement Today.
She says the deserve recognition and protection for a lifelong sacrifice.
“People forget that our men and women in uniform are human, they’ve pursued a career that puts their lives on the line for the safety of others. It pains me to see when they are blatantly disrespected, their work politicized when they are doing a job that they’ve been trained to do. And that’s to protect you and me.”
Lauf shared an announcement video, saying Ocasio-Cortez was among the “angry voices who seek to divide us.”
“I think people like AOC and that group are focusing on an agenda that is so detrimental to our country,” Lauf said. “They are not being leaders. They are part of the problem.”
She says it’s that same problem leading to attacks on law enforcement.
“It takes mental fortitude and strong character to do what these people do. Our men and women in uniform deserve the upmost respect and support by our communities. We should honor their duty, understand it’s a tough job, and recognize their safety is one we can’t live without,” she said.
Long before deciding she was going to run for office, she says she went on a ride-along with a friend of hers who is a police officer. It changed everything for her.
“Just in one night, I witnessed a homicide, and another person who would have died by a drug overdose had there not been a team of cops there to save him. And this was all in the span of two hours,” she said.
It was an experience that stuck with her.
“For me, witnessing that was heavy. But imagine seeing and experiencing that everyday. Going to work, not knowing what the day is going to bring. Our men and women in uniform do that everyday, and they do it because they have a mission in life to serve and protect.”
And how are they thanked? She said it’s beyond disheartening.
“Now imagine just for doing your job and wearing that uniform, you’re criticized, thrown things at, yelled at, politicized by the same people you serve and protect? Completely not fair. And so un-American.”
She’s also infuriated with the idea that as a minority and a female – not to mention one of immigrant parents – that she should be anti-Trump.
“I’m the daughter of a legal immigrant,” she said. “We’re for legal immigration. That’s not racism. You should be a law-abiding citizen,” she said.
Her father was a small-business owner, and Lauf described herself as a proud capitalist who was inspired by her entrepreneurial father’s various businesses.
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She then studied at Miami University of Ohio, where she became involved in the college Republican group before obtaining a bachelor of communications at the age of 20.
After college, she worked for Uber in Chicago in community partnerships before becoming a special adviser to the Department of Commerce last year.
What was the straw that broke the camel’s back in her decision to run? When earlier this month, Underwood called for the impeachment of Trump.
In the 2018 midterm election, Underwood narrowly won election with 52.5% of the vote in a mostly rural, traditionally Republican district.
Lauf plans on fixing that come 2020.
She’s got our vote.
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