Senator-Elect Will Haskell Saves A Seat At The Table For The Underrepresented
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Senator-Elect Will Haskell Saves A Seat At The Table For The Underrepresented

"Don't just sit there and be upset," his girlfriend said, "Channel that into doing something."

A year later, he would be known as Senator-Elect Will Haskell.

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Senator-Elect Will Haskell Saves A Seat At The Table For The Underrepresented
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After a day of visiting medical centers overflowing with sick children lacking proper medical care, the recent college-grad began the hour-long car ride from Connecticut's capital. While he sat in traffic, hands gripping the steering wheel, tears flowed down his cheeks as he thought of all of the sick kids in the rearview mirror who would spend their Christmas in a cramped hospital.

It was then when he was reminded of the one great superpower he and many other Americans possess: his voice.

"Don't just sit there and be upset," his girlfriend said, "Channel that into doing something."

A year later, he would be known as Senator-Elect Will Haskell.

He didn't need a law degree or decades of political experience to secure his victory in the 2018 midterm elections. All he needed was passion for change and the drive to make it happen.

"I knocked on 4,000 doors," Haskell recalls back to his campaign with enthusiasm.

Haskell took no days off and was even spotted shaking hands with future constituents at a Fourth of July fireworks display at his home town of Westport, Connecticut. Not even the blazing summer sun could melt away his devotion to politics.

Haskell did not come from a lineage of politicians whose political legacy was handed down from father to son. He didn't spend his entire childhood dreaming of being a government official. Rather, a sense of civic duty was awoken in November of 2016.

"I [...] woke up the morning after trump's election and [was] shocked," Haskell recalled.

Thousands of Americans shared this sense of disbelief as the polls came in showing Trump had won the presidency, despite Clinton securing the popular vote. While many resided into disbelief, Haskell saw an opportunity.

First, he researched who was actually representing him in government, working his way up the bureaucratic chain until he reached the state Senate.

"I saw somebody who I just, respectfully disagreed with," Haskell said with a diplomatic smile in reference to Senator Toni Boucher, "[Boucher] voted 97 percent of the time with the Republican Party who opposed paid family leave."

This issue, in particular, is close to Haskell's heart as he was raised by a single mother who had to go back to work full time just two weeks after giving birth.

Now, just two years later, Haskell prepares to be sworn into office at the start of 2019.

Some may call it crazy for a newly college grad to challenge a politician who's been in office since Haskell was in diapers. Even Haskell had his doubts when a campaign staffer suggested writing Obama for an endorsement.

"I never expected or anticipated President Obama to weigh in on a down-ballot race like this one," Haskell admitted.

So, when word got back that Obama was endorsing him, he and his campaign staff were ecstatic. "We couldn't believe it,"

The whole experience left Haskell with new insight.

"Try what seems impossible. Pursue crazy ideas," Haskell preached with bright eyes.

While Haskell revels in his accomplishment, he recognizes he alone cannot be the driving force of change.

"I think no one individual is going to make a difference, but if we each add our voices in what I hope will become a greater call."

Haskell hopes his example will show others you don't need a specific resume to make a difference in government.

"If you feel like when you look at your town or city or state or federal government and you don't recognize those who are making decision, that means you should be at the table."

But until the time comes when he is joined by a diverse group of eager minds at the proverbial table, Haskell strives to represent and serve all of his constituents.

"I want to be somebody who could empathize with the small business owner or somebody who's struggling to get by month to month," Haskell began after a thoughtful pause, "I want you to feel that I can listen and understand your perspective and it'll bring that perspective whether I agree with it or not."

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