By Kathleen Sigurdson, candidate for Second Judicial District Court of Nevada, Dept. 10. Originally shared on This Is Reno

No matter your political preference, a loss on the Supreme Court should be felt sharply by the American people.

I know about loss. When I was young, my sister was in an accident that left her severely injured. The aftermath of the accident threw our family into a whirlwind of medical activities. I felt helpless at the time. Eventually, my sister succumbed to her injuries and our family went through another wave of grief and its subsequent processes.

It was a pivotal time for me. I realized I wanted to help others find paths forward when their losses were just as sharp. That epiphany compelled me to earn a bachelor’s degree in recreation therapy and a masters in rehabilitation counseling, leading to a ten-year career in counseling to steer others through their own losses.

That same epiphany led me to the legal field, completing another degree from Quinnipiac University’s School of Law and passing the bar in 1998 so I could provide clarity for those who suddenly found themselves adrift in the judicial world.

Now I’m reminded that my loss is a powerful reason to run for the Second Judicial District Court of Nevada’s Department 10 judgeship: to leverage my experience to better serve people.

In some ways, I’ve known I wanted to be a judge since my first days at Quinnipiac. Now, after the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this race feels heavier than when I first entered it. This pivotal woman opened many of the doors that I walked through just so I could be in this race at this point in history.

As I make my case for the bench, I’m reminded of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s guidance:

“We live in an age in which the fundamental principles to which we subscribe – liberty, equality, and justice for all – are encountering extraordinary challenges. But it is also an age in which we can join hands with others who hold to those principles and face similar challenges.”

If we are to successfully face the challenges in front of us, it will take the unification of diverse citizens. Additionally, it will take an acknowledgment that our institutions must be representative of our incredibly diverse populations. And, as Washoe County is fairly split, so too should your courts reflect that construct. The general jurisdiction courts at the Second Judicial District Court of Nevada are currently presided over by six men and three women.

Representation matters when seeking liberty, equality, and justice for all. It’s a pivotal reason for the grief surrounding RBG’s death. But while representation in the highest courts of our land is vital, representation starts with the courts here at home.

I’m running for this judgeship to provide more equal representation to you, but also because I’ve wanted to put my expertise to better use for a while now. I hope you will consider me when the time comes to vote.