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September 17, 2004

Former Microsoft Employee #1: Laura Ruderman

The Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State has a blog. But I'm here to talk about the Democratic candidate.

In 1994 I left the NT group and went to work on a short-lived interactive television project inside Microsoft. The administrative assistant was a woman named Laura Ruderman. I eventually left the group to go to Softimage, and lost track of Laura.

Fast forward to 1998, and in the interim Laura has been promoted to be a program manager at Microsoft, and is now running as a Democratic candidate for the state house, representing my district. I helped her out a bit, putting together some yard signs and writing letters to others in my neighborhood.

She eventually won a close election, then was re-elected in 2000, beating a former Microsoftie (and former Libertarian) named Toby Nixon (who was eventually appointed to be the other representative in the district, where he remains to this day). Laura won again in 2002, although by this time our house had been redistricted from the 45th into the 48th district, so I got to entertain my neighbors with letters in support another former Microsoft employee named Ross Hunter (do you see a pattern in who gets elected around here?).

Now, in 2004, Laura is running for Secretary of State. Quite an impressive journey in 10 years. And she is only 33 years old.

I met her a while ago, to hand over a campaign contribution, and she told me she had taken a short-term clerical job at a bank in Bellevue (being a State Representative is a part-time, low-paying job). She said most people didn't really know who she was, although a few did like to talk politics with her. I love this image, of her working away doing filing or whatever, but meanwhile she has the power to introduce laws and she is Vice Chair of the Technology, Telecommunications, and Energy Committee, and Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and she talks to the Governor and she is gaining some national political attention.

Her opponent, incidentally, has come out against paper records on electronic voting, although he has recently softened his stance. Laura has a page of e-Voting links, which I have been submitting suggestions for.

Posted by AdamBa at September 17, 2004 10:53 PM

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