GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- After working in childcare for 30 years, Cathy Albro (D) is doing something she never thought she would: run for the seat of Michigan's 3rd Congressional District.
When the Great Recession hit, Albro and her husband lost everything and had to move into a mobile home in Rockford. After eight years of economic recovery and working in education, Albro is facing off against Fred Wooden (D) to challenge incumbent Justin Amash (R).
“Our strategy to win this primary and then the November election is to reach as many people as we can and build relationships," Albro tells FOX 17.
Albro says after she decided to run, one of the first things she thought about was what her logo should look like. She says she knew it would include a sun.
"(A sun) represents warmth and light, but it also represents shining the light on all of the corruption and the problems that we have so that we can get to the root causes of what’s going on in our country," Albro says.
One of the issues closest to her heart is education. Albro most recently worked as the director of elementary education at Highscope Educational Research Foundation.
“There are so many families in this country where the parents are working or going to school where they cannot afford high quality early childhood education for their children," Albro says.
She says one of the things she would do in Congress is strengthen the Department of Education and make early childhood education more accessible. Albro says she believes the government should subsidize higher education and vocational programs.
Albro says as she travels around the third district, voters are telling her how worried they are about contaminated water.
“The people in Rockford that I talk to, they’re just so worried about, you know, these are health concerns that may come 10, 15, 20 years from now," Albro says. "So we need to make sure that every drop that comes out of people’s faucets is safe to drink in this whole country.”
Running as a Democrat for a seat held by Republicans for 25 years isn't easy.
“I am running into people that have different points of view," Albro says. "So, what we’re trying to do is talk to people about values and see if we can connect in that way.”
Albro grew up outside of Detroit as the oldest of eight siblings. She and her husband have two daughters and two grandchildren, Logan, 6, and Peyton, 4. She says they motivate her to work harder.
“I don’t want them growing up in a world that’s so divided," Albro says, "in a country that’s so economically divided, with such disparity. And I think that I could influence that in Congress.”
The Michigan primary election is August 7.