BEDFORD — Retired teacher Deb Baughman formally announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for 78th District state representative on Tuesday, backed by what she described as a “grassroots campaign of everyday people.”
“I have great passion for working families, and I would like to step up,” Baughman said. “I have the time. I have the energy. I have the passion. I have the desire. So I decided now’s
the time I’m going to step up.”
“I live in Saxton, which is a little working-class town in the northern part of Bedford County,” Baughman said. “The town used to be very prosperous — a great center for railroad industry and commerce — and now it’s just a shell of its former self. It’s left behind. It’s still left behind.”
Describing herself as a candidate for “the people with mud on their boots,” Baughman said she will fight for values of hard work, self-reliance and family and look out for the best interests of rural working-class families.
If elected, Baughman would like to focus on raising the minimum wage, creating local training and job opportunities, balancing the state budget, fighting the opioid epidemic and protecting natural resources.
Kevin Miller, Bedford County Democratic chairman, said of Baughman: “She’s not a politician. She’s not looking for a career. She just wants to go to Harrisburg and serve the people. … She shares our community values and will fight in Harrisburg to keep them.”
Norman Williams, an audience member, said: “I came out to support a Democratic candidate. I came out to support a candidate who I hope will do a better job of representing Bedford County, who will have the ability to stand up for herself and not be pushed around by the political machinery down in Harrisburg.”
Baughman was a teacher in the Cornwall-Lebanon School District for 25 years prior to her retirement in 2013.
Baughman graduated from Lesley College in Boston with a degree in education and earned her master’s degree from Wilkes College. She serves on the executive committee of the Bedford County Democratic Committee and is a member of the Helen B. Hughes Federation of Democratic Women.
She was born in Boston to a secretary and an electronics repairman. Baughman currently lives in Saxton with her husband and their three children.