Jordyn Rush ’07 assists with political campaigns from behind the scenes
“I’ve always been interested in politics; I did my first phone bank when I was young with my mom,” says Jordyn Rush ’07. “When I first started (at Ripon College), I thought I wanted to work in communications, being a press secretary or a communication director. But I’ve learned … there are so many different jobs you can do on the campaign side of politics, there is something for everyone.”
Rush previously was the director of Member Services at the Ohio House Democratic Caucus of the Ohio Democratic Party, the third largest Democratic organization in the country. She currently is finance director of the Louisiana Democratic Party based in Baton Rouge.
“What I like most about my job is you have quantifiable goals,” she says. “The biggest for me is ‘Did you raise enough money?’ But in the campaign world in general, you know if you met your goals or not … by that result on election night.”
She says all elections are important, and the general public needs to take a bigger interest in their local elections. “Everyone knows when a presidential election is, but the elections that affect your day-to-day living are those of your local state representative, state senator, county commissioner or school board. Electing a new Democratic member to the state legislature is just as important to my goals as re-electing Senator Mary Landrieu to the United State Senate.”
Rush says she has met many prominent people through her work, including President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, actor Ted Danson, television journalist Tim Russert, Gen. Wesley Clark and “too many senators, representatives and governors to remember.
“But for me, the most satisfying campaign has been the We Are Ohio campaign, working on behalf of everyday people,” she says. “We were able to repeal Senate Bill 5, a bill that would have stripped firefighters, police officers, nurses, teachers, and many more of their ability to collectively bargain.
“The first moment from that campaign I will always remember is being in the front of what we called The People’s Parade. Workers from all over the state marched up Broad Street in downtown Columbus to deliver 1.3 million petition signatures to the Secretary of State’s office to place the referendum on the ballot. When I reached the Secretary of State’s office, I was told over the staff radio that the end of the group was just turning onto the street a little over a mile away. The state also had to call in a structural engineer while we were moving the petition papers to the offices to make sure the floors would hold the load.”
She says it also is memorable for her that the campaign was supported by more than 60 percent of the vote in almost every corner of the state.
Rush says she appreciates the education she received at Ripon College. “Ripon placed a strong emphasis on internships and outside-the-classroom activities,” she says. “By the time I graduated, I knew I wanted to work on the campaign side of politics as opposed to the legislative side. And when I graduated, I started the following morning at 8 a.m. at my new position in Iowa and haven’t stopped yet. I’ve had nine jobs in seven states since graduation. I’ve seen a lot of the country I would have never been to if it wasn’t for work. I’ve enjoyed every minute.”