Winning Wednesday began with Governor Grace announcing the city of Apache as City of the Day as well as a tie for Journalist of the Day. Leah Hennes (rhymes with Tennis) and Alyssa Rosete were both named Journalist of the Day are both from the city of Apache as well!
Director of Elections Heidi discussed the role of a lobbyist. A lobbyist is someone who advocates for an organization, business, or interest group to the legislators. Often paid to do so, they may encourage a change or oppose one they believe will hurt their third party. Some Sunflower Girls State Citizens will act as lobbyist this week and discuss policy with our ALA SGS senators and representatives.
Party Rallies were held to get voters excited about the upcoming general election. The Nationalist Party did some cheers and encouraged voters not to let party lines divide them. Nationalist Governor Candidate Ramya expressed that we are all Girls Staters and that they were there to represent the entire group. The Federalist Party spoke about encouraging women and why supporting each other is so important.
Our second Political Career Panel of the week was comprised of local and county officials. Karen Hiller of the Topeka City Council discussed implementing local policy. She expressed that even if constituents oppose your decisions they are more willing to accept them if they feel like their voices were heard. She stated "it is important to engage everyone. No matter what statement they make or what they look like, if you can take the time to engage your constituents you will learn so much. People appreciate when you hear them."
Jennifer Anada a Lawrence City Commissioner reminded the delegates not to let anything hold them back. "The most terrifying thing I've ever done was turn in my paperwork to run. I was shaking. I'm different. I'm young. I'm a woman. The most important thing I did for my campaign was knowing my audience and who was voting in my community. "
Being the Douglas County Clerk, Jamie Shaw, is also the election officer. He explained that its an interesting place to be when you're an elected official but you also run the election. Shaw also mentioned the current conversation about voting and whether its a right or a privilege. "We're in the middle of a discussion about voting. When its a right its protected. Its important because as a right it's the foundation of the system. If we look at voting as a privilege its someone else decision who gets to vote."
Paige Blevins is the Assistant City Attorney for the city of Topeka. She is also a Sunflower Girls State alumni and a former Girls Nation Senator. "Girls State made me want to be a lawyer. I met friends who went on to girls nation who all became lawyers. The law is this puzzle to break into and law school gave us the tools to unlock it. It made me want to go on and have an impact on my local community, my state, and my nation. Girls State gave me the drive to do those things."
A much anticipated moment was the announcement of the General Election! Winners of the state offices are as follows:
Lieutenant Governor - Brevin Armstrong
Attorney General - Camy McAtee
Commissioner of Insurance - Trinity Hall
Supreme Court Justice #2 - Sadie Harris
Supreme Court Justice #4 - Sydney Lancaster
Supreme Court Justice #6 - Alycen Berridge
Governor - Katie Neal
Secretary of State - Megan Colvin
State Treasurer - Ella Keathley
Supreme Court Justice #1 - Liliana Gabe Keathley
Supreme Court Justice #3 - Lydia Johnson
Supreme Court Justice #5 - Leah Hennes
Supreme Court Justice #7 - Elizabeth Schwerdtfeger
Alycen Berridge of Nickerson, Kansas was named the Chief Justice. Both the Governor Katie Neal and Lieutenant Governor Brevin Armstrong are from Hutchinson.
We were joined this evening by Major Nicky Inskeep from the Army National Guard. Inskeep is an alumni of Minnesota Girls State and a current instructor of military science and ROTC at The University of Kansas. She discussed that even when her path deviated from her goal she persevered and continued toward it. She challenged the girls in stating "People will tell you you can or can't do something because you're a woman. What matters is about you choosing to be a leader, choosing to stay the course. There have been a lot of women that have gone before you and paved the way for you to have the opportunities you do. So no matter what the thing is that you are calling yours, take the chance and work at it until you achieve that goal."
Congratulations to all of those who were elected today and to those who had the courage to step up and put their name on the ballot. We hope that you gained something from that experience even if it wasn't a ribbon at the bottom of your name tag.