There are no shortage of usual suspects looking to go back to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC this August, but none of them collected as many signatures as did Anne W. Connor, a self-proclaimed political outsider from Barrington, who garnered more than twice the 150 signatures needed to register for the ballot.
“I’m just an ordinary citizen,” she said, during her lunch break the other day. She is a licensing specialist with G-Tech, but she’s also worked as a paralegal and a librarian during her career.
She lives in Barrington where she and her husband, a retired lawyer, raised their two children. Her political inspiration, she said, is Treasurer Gina Raimondo, whose campaign she volunteered for.
A loyal Democrat since supporting Adlai Stevenson in the 1950’s, she said she really swore her allegiance to liberal causes in college when her roommates father, a member of the Farmer-Labor Party, informed her politics.
“He said he wouldn’t mind paying more taxes if it meant an older person or a student could get better public transportation,” she said, noting that this is still her philosophy to this day. “I’m happy to pay more in taxes as an individual if everyone else pays according to their means.
To this day, she holds many traditional progressive values. She supports health care reform, Planned Parenthood, the the Buffet Rule, and said she didn’t think Rhode Island should have passed a voter ID law last year.
“I think it’s burdensome for senior citizens,” Connor said. “You want to make it as easy for people to vote as possible and no one has demonstrated for me that there is any voter fraud in Rhode Island.”
She enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with her two grown children. She’s also the president-elect of the First Unitarian Church in Providence, which runs the mobile Loaves and Fishes program and was supportive of Occupy Providence last year.
Connor said she isn’t trying to launch a political career or curry favor with party insiders. Instead, she said she wants to go to learn about the process and her party.
“I want to find out what people are thinking in other parts of the country,” she said. “I want to get the pulse of the nation.”