Why I’m in the Fight — I Hope You’ll Join me.

I grew up in Goltry, Oklahoma, a town of 240 acres and just about as many people. The daughter of a Vietnam veteran working as an electrician, I am a product of the opportunity once afforded to America’s working class. Most weekends you could find me milking cows on my neighbor’s dairy farm with the sunrise. By the afternoon, I’d be preparing for that week’s track event or curriculum competition. Rural America is my America, one that has been left behind in Washington for far too long. I’m eager to give back as your next Congresswoman.

Celeste feeding the family chickens

My mother, ever the encourager, was always quick to remind me that I was capable of doing anything I put my mind to — and I took that to heart. It was her unwavering faith in my ability that led me to nursing. That same faith kick-started this campaign. You see, after over two decades working as a nurse, I realized there are just some issues that can’t be fixed in the exam room. I knew someone had to do something about our broken healthcare system, and I knew I was up to the challenge.

That’s why I’m running for Congress.

Celeste is a family nurse practitioner and candidate for U.S. Congress in Arkansas’s Third District

As an ICU nurse turned family practitioner, my patients and I are affected by the decisions of Arkansas’s federal representatives every day. My practice serves amazing people that too often don’t have the resources they need to lead their happiest, healthiest lives. Whether it’s lack of insurance, pricey prescription medicine, or a job that doesn’t pay the bills — I’m powerless in the face of many of my patients’ challenges. I could choose to be angry and frustrated about it, or I can work to change it. I choose the path of hard work and action. My community deserves a champion in government.

My motivation to run for office extends beyond my practice. Arriving home after a day at the clinic, I am greeted by my four beautiful children and our small zoo of animals. Being a mother and foster-turned-adoptive parent has been the privilege and challenge of my lifetime. The devastating consequences of inadequate access to addiction and mental health care encouraged me to not only become an adoptive mom, but to run for office to tackle the systemic issues that have touched my children’s lives. My family is all the more beautiful for their lessons in patience and resilience.

I’m fortunate to have the love and support of my incredible husband Kirk, my community, and our own parents in raising our kids; it’s an unfortunate reality that many parents across this country don’t enjoy similar levels of support. I’m in this race to fight for families of all kinds — to create world-class educational opportunities for every child, to restore the dignity of work, and to honor the promise of the American dream.

In Congress, I’ll advocate for an Arkansas where no one goes broke because they get sick, where all of our children graduate into an endless opportunity horizon, and where hard work earns a fair wage. I’m a nurse because I feel called to serve my community. That same conviction will guide me in Congress. I’m ready to serve and fight for Arkansans in Washington.

Nurse Practitioner and Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress in Arkansas’s Third District

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