“Hi, Felicia!” is the slogan that appears on countless yard signs that blanket House District 46, in Alabama. Felicia Stewart’s grassroots campaign has logged incalculable hours of canvassing, phone banking and letter-writing by a remarkably committed group of volunteers.
Such visible and enthusiastic support for a Democratic candidate is a new and astonishing phenomenon in this district, in the suburbs of Birmingham. It’s been at least 16 years since a Democrat has run for this seat, and Donald Trump won the district’s precincts by a margin of some 37 points. The prevalent conservative culture has long led progressives and moderates living here to keep their politics to themselves, often out of fear of social stigma.
via NBC News
Three years ago, Felicia Stewart moved back to her home state of Alabama with her wife of 16 years, Christy, and their 7-year-old twin daughters, Harper and Helen. Stewart, who holds an MBA and worked in the corporate world for many years, was intent on making positive change in the state, and believed nonprofit work would be the best avenue. Entering politics hadn’t crossed her mind, but she was interested in certain issues such as education, poverty and health care, so she went to the state’s capital, Montgomery, to observe how the political process affected them.
“I was just incensed by what was and was not happening in Montgomery, and how those activities were perpetuating all the things that are wrong here — and doing precious little to grow the things that are right,” Stewart said.
She felt she could do better for her state and began discussing the possibility of running for office.