By Taylor Boyer
I’ve always wanted to be a politician. Always. In fact, there was never a point in my life where I didn’t want to be a politician. However, certain negative connotations have always accompanied the word “politician”: falling back on promises, putting on a false face of sincerity in front of others; the list goes on and on. I thought I’d never meet a person who embodied all the best qualities of an honorable statesman; not until I met Senator Sonnenberg.
Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, a state senator from Sterling, Colorado, is a man who I believe has achieved the highest standard of integrity. The senator is a man who, as long as I’ve known him, has never deviated from his inner values, even when it might benefit him to do so. I value highly the conversations I have with Senator Sonnenberg as I know that he genuinely cares and looks for ways to alleviate the problem.
Earlier this year, Senator Sonnenberg visited our school as part of his school tour. This tour was aimed at trying to understand what ails rural school districts and how he could solve those problems as a legislator. During his tour, Senator Sonnenberg visited every single school in his Senate district. I had the unique opportunity to give the senator a presentation that focused mainly on the lack of funding to building maintenance.
After the presentation and expressing to him my desire to go into politics, the senator invited me to shadow him at the capitol. At the capitol, the Senator brought me onto the floor, asked what issues were important to me, and brought me to every meeting he had that day. Everyone loved him. They might not have agreed with him, but everyone’s face lit up as soon as Senator Sonnenberg walked onto the floor. I believe that love and respect to be a consequence of the senator’s ability to get along with and help everyone.
To no surprise of mine, Senator Sonnenberg followed through on the promises that he made when he toured my school. Just this week, the senator’s bill, which would raise 50 million a year for schools and rural school construction, passed appropriations. This action is only one example of the good that Senator Sonnenberg is capable of.
A man who once tried to “cure me” of a “political bug” has ended up inspiring me to pursue politics further. I admire the intentions of Senator Sonnenberg; I can only hope to become half the gentleman that he is. His unwavering sense of duty towards his constituents is deserving of thanks; he is a shining example of what every elected official ought to be. The gentleman from Sterling is not just a voice for the people of rural Colorado, he is a friend to them, as well as myself.