My name is Annette Hyde. I’m a wife, mother, friend and yoga teacher who lives in Madison County, Virginia. My husband is a descendant of one of the county’s oldest families. I also have a family connection to Virginia. My ancestor, Cornelius Cooper, who served as a supplier for North Carolina in the Revolutionary War, was born in Virginia in 1730.

I was born in Fort Worth, Texas. I grew up in suburban Dallas with my electrical engineer dad, special education teacher mom and my younger brother, Bill. I was active with the band and the school newspaper at my high school. I graduated tenth in my senior class of over 400 students. I received my BA in Communications/Journalism (Public Relations) with honors from the University of Texas at Arlington.

I first married at age 19 in 1978. I went to college part time and worked at Dallas area banks full time being a teller, opening new accounts and bookkeeping from 1980-1990. I gave birth to my first son, Doug, in 1985. My marriage ended a year later. I became a single mother with a year old baby. Fortunately, my parents insisted I move in with them, so I had a support system and could save money.

I met my present husband at a church singles group in March 1987. We married that October, and we will celebrate our 30th anniversary this year. In 1990, we moved from Texas to Chantilly, Virginia (Fairfax County) because my husband’s work brought us there. Our son, Joel, was born in 1992. I became a stay at home mom.

In 1995, I took training to become a group fitness instructor and was certified. It was a great way to stay fit, meet people, have time for myself and earn some extra cash. I discovered yoga in 1999, and became a teacher in 2001. I teach yoga now at Powell Wellness Center and Pranapiloga yoga studio in Culpeper, Virginia.

In 2013, we purchased our home and property in Madison. In September, 2016, we moved there permanently. The last thing I ever thought about was running for office…until November 9, 2016. The divisive and ugly presidential campaign and, especially, the result changed me forever.

So in March 2017, I decided to run for the Democratic nomination for the House of Delegates in the 30th District which includes Madison and Orange Counties, and the southern part of Culpeper County. I lost by one vote at the District Convention.

That’s not stopping me. With the wave of Democratic victories in the 2017 election, I believe I can help flip the Senate to Democratic control in 2019. I’m running for office again because I care about my friends and neighbors and what happens to them. If I want change to happen, then I need to be that change. That’s why I’m seeking the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat in the 24th District. This district covers Augusta, Greene and Madison Counties and parts of Rockingham and Culpeper Counties.

I care about voters choosing their representatives, not politicians choosing their voters.

I care about women being able to choose what they can or can’t do with their bodies.

I care about health care being a right instead of a luxury. My husband was “retired” in April 2017. Our only option for health insurance was the Affordable Care Act. It’s not great right now, but it’s the only plan we can afford until we qualify for Medicare. I’m finding out that people our age are getting pushed out of jobs because of what it cost employers in health insurance premiums.

I care about rural communities getting broadband Internet access and better cell phone reception. We spend $170 a month for satellite Internet service that has a data cap. Because of this, my husband and I have created Madison Gigabit Internet, a project that seeks to combine existing power utility poles, fiber cable and wireless routers to bring affordable, very high speed Internet to unserved areas of Madison County.

I care about public school money being used for private school vouchers. This would be disastrous for our rural schools. Private schools would take our best teachers away and leave children who don’t get accepted to these schools without quality education.

I care about the poor, disabled, elderly, women and children and what tax breaks to the wealthy will do to them.

I have my positions, but it is your issues and your insights that will propel this election. I live in a heavily Republican district. The incumbent, Sen. Emmett Hanger, has held the seat for over 20 years. It’s time for him to go. If you want me to represent you, the people, in the 24th District, I will need all your support. I’m running for office because I truly care about you.