Shannon Roers Jones: Why I'm Running For The North Dakota Legislature
Many have already asked “Why would you want to run?”
My answer is simple, I want to ensure North Dakota remains a national economic leader, and a place where families thrive. As a teenager, there was never an assumption that you would stay and live in Fargo. If you want to have a good job, if you wanted to have great experiences, you would most likely need to move to the Twin Cities, or another large city. When I graduated, the economic climate in North Dakota was average at best, but the tide was shifting. As I started to come home from college I would notice more buildings being built, more stores and restaurants entering the Fargo area and I thought, “Where was all of this when I lived here?”
I finished college and moved to the Twin Cities, like most young people did at the time. I finished graduate school and then started a career in real estate. As I spent more and more time in Minnesota, I noticed the negative effects that excessive government interference can cause, and I saw how trapped people can become when there are too many government welfare programs and not enough systems for helping people reach economic independence. At the same time, I watched the economy in North Dakota continue to improve. After eight years, I convinced my Minnesota-born husband that we should raise our family in North Dakota.
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In the summer of 2007 we packed up our family of four and moved home to Fargo. I started law school at the University of North Dakota the following fall. At the time I had a four-year-old and a one-year-old and people thought I was crazy. After I made it through the first and, by all accounts, the worst year of law school, my husband and I decided that if we were going to have a third child it would be better to do it sooner, so she wouldn’t be an infant while I studied for the Bar Exam. My youngest daughter was born two days after my last final of my second year, and she celebrated her first birthday on the same day as my graduation from law school.
I started working as an attorney in the oil and gas industry, but an opportunity to work as general counsel at my families’ business came available. I was very excited to come full-circle as I had spent many years working there as a child, teenager, and college student. Now, as a businesswoman, I see the effect that not enough skilled workers is having on our economy. Despite the fact that businesses want to grow, they are being constricted by the lack of a suitable workforce.
I am happy to be raising my family in North Dakota, and I want to ensure that our state continues to be a place where our children want to live. We need to work to guarantee that North Dakota remains a welcoming place for families and businesses, because we cannot have one without the other. I am focused on growing a vibrant economy throughout North Dakota and guaranteeing the government runs effectively and efficiently, which means controlling spending, reducing taxes, eliminating harmful regulations and operating under a balanced budget.
I am committed to running a strong campaign for the House of Representatives seat in District 46, because I want to continue the great progress North Dakota has seen in the last twenty years. Our economy is the envy of the nation and we need to work diligently to make sure that our businesses and families have all of the resources necessary to continue to thrive.