Carolina Herrin moved with her husband, Tom, and three daughters in 2008 to Spanish Fork, Utah; a community of approximately 42,000 people in 2008 after a stint of 10 years in law enforcement as a Utah State Trooper, undercover officer and the first female trooper to have at times participated as a member of the Governor’s Detail serving Governor Jon Huntsman, now the United States Ambassador to Russia.
VP Utah State Women’s Legislative Council
Creator/Administrator – 12,000 member Spanish Fork Community News Facebook Page
Former Utah State Trooper
Major Crimes/Undercover officer
Owner – www.WonderWomanRide.com
Interview by Candidates.Vote Clark H. Caras
Candidates.Vote – You emigrated from Brazil to the United States and to Utah with your family when you were 13-years old. Did you ever imagine 27 years later where you’d be and what you would have done in this country and are doing?
Herrin – I knew zero English when we came here and I knew if I wanted to be someone in this country it had to be up to me — can’t help others if I can’t help myself.
Candidates.Vote – You just returned from Brazil to visit your grandmother and other family but were also there for what many are calling a historic election that saw far right candidate Jair Bolsonaro elected president.
Herrin – My mother went with me and she voted. You have to vote in Brazil; it’s not a choice.
Candidates.Vote – You’re active in Utah’s Republican Party and hold office there with Utah’s Women’s Legislative Council. What do you think about being ordered to vote?
Herrin – I’m not a big fan of it. It was easy for me to become a Republican and to want to be a citizen of this country. Might sound corny, but I do believe in life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that is in the United States of America.
Candidates.Vote – Being as you were there for the election and it was historic in nature; did you cast a vote.
Herrin – No I didn’t, but I did get involved and help out with some things in organizing and working and came home with a certificate showing I had been a part of the election process, which is something I’m proud of because I enjoy the process here at home as well and get involved.
Candidates.Vote – That’s true about you. Besides the First responder things I want to ask you about and your Social Media network Spanish Fork Community News; how about we visit for a moment about just exactly what your credentials are with Utah Republican politics.
Herrin – Well I’m my Legislative District Chairman, District 66; precinct chairman, Utah State Central Committee member, Vice President of the Utah State Women’s Legislative Council, and President of the Utah County Women’s Legislative Council.
Candidates.Vote – Quite a political resume there. Why?
Herrin – I was sworn in as an American citizen when Tom, my husband, was on active duty fighting in Iraq – so that was 2003. September 11 happened and he was involved in law enforcement, but he came home and we agreed if he wanted to “pay it forward” by becoming active duty military I would support him. We had two kids and I was pregnant when he left to go to Iraq.
I get involved so others can and will get involved. I share it, so can they see it and realize they can share too. I want them to be able to say, ‘I see what she is doing and I can do it to.’’’
It’s been easy to because I come from a country where there are and have not been that many freedoms. I grew up believing and wanting to live capitalism; not the socialism and communism I’d seen in Brazil.
I love this country because it is set up so the people from the legislature are among us – you know your representatives and you can hold them accountable. It’s easy to be a Republican in this country because it comes natural.
Candidates.Vote – Okay. We know where you stand politically on the differences between Brazil and America. But what are some of the things you miss about home and where exactly where were you raised before dad came here to attend Brigham Young University?
Herrin – Going to the beach every day and feeling the sand and salt water between your toes. I was born in Sao Paulo. Lived there for a few years and then moved and lived in Rio de Janeiro until moving here to the U.S.
Candidates.Vote – Favorite foods, both here and what you left home in Brazil? And the biggest wonder of all – can you Samba?
Herrin – My favorite food here is Chinese. I can eat it breakfast, lunch and dinner or whenever someone serves it or I have it. Brazilian favorites… Pastel and Caldo De Cana (sugar can juice and a close second is rice and beans.
And of course I can Samba. (She laughs, “Ha,ha,ha,ha”), my favorite!
Candidates.Vote – Okay. Now we are at community involvement. Ten years ago you moved to Spanish Fork, Utah – 42,000 – people and one of the fast growing cities in Utah and geographically at a crossed roads north into Canada, south into California and Arizona, and east it the Midwest and east coast. Both urban, manufacturing, retail, agricultural and one of the best preserved turn of the century main streets in America.
You weren’t satisfied with just moving though. You have become at first a bit of an underground leader of a social media underground that today, December 2018, is a Facebook site hosting 12,000 members and growing here at home and being used and held up nationally by other community activists as the way to become a force for good politically and civically in their communities.
Herrin – Yes, I guess that’s what you might say about it. We came here and there was not outlet for information. The local weekly newspaper was gone and people weren’t subscribing to the dailies available. You could go to city council, but as a citizen there was not anywhere to hear from others.
So I thought I’d created a little group to just exchange ideas, events, and happenings. I really wasn’t that adept at social media, but my business www.WonderWomanRide.com was social media and I believed the experience would help me there.
Candidates.vote – So just about 12,000 members later Spanish Fork Community News is the first thing politicians all the way to the Governor’s office look to in order to find out what is going on in Spanish Fork. Residents look to it for recommendations on events, businesses to deal with, those to stay away, as well as wedding and baby announcements. Did you have any idea?
Herrin – Sometimes it takes my breath away. It reminds me of law enforcement – people need to be adults about whatever they are doing and do on social media too; and that’s not always the case. Besides the 12,000 we are getting thousands of requests for membership each and every week my team has to help me go through those. It started out with just my husband and myself being administrators on it, but now I’ve got 8 people assigned who help out. It could be a full time job.
Candidates.Vote – I know when it comes to political posts, even though you are Republican it’s said, and I’ve watched, as you do a good job of being non-partisan.
Herrin – I have to be. This is a site media outlets all over Utah and the nation go to for information because we are the intersection for two major Congressional district, a major female Utah Senator’s district, and I know the media have developed dozens of stories they’ve been referred to or read on the site.
We are also very away our city fathers read it as well as city employees. And in October and September when Spanish Fork and the small cities south about 4 miles were being threatened by the wildfires; Spanish Fork Community news became a lifeline. We worked 24 hours a day there and worked with the US Forest Service, Natural Resources, and the Federal Government in dispersing information about evacuations, changes in where the fire was burning, where livestock owners could go for help or to rescue their animals.
I know we became the umbilical cord of the community and have remained to be so. It helped to because people had an outlet and it was also a way for people to find each other once roads and communities were cut off. Even a way to find pets.
Candidates.Vote – I’ve heard tell SpanishForkCommunityNews on Facebook is being held up as the perfect example and is being used and coped in the state for bring an example of the best of the best.
Herrin – I know it’s being copied. We’ve been contacted by some and just copied by others and for that I’m glad if it’s used in the same way and not abused, because it certainly could be that.
Candidates.Vote – So you as the First Responder – the State Trooper. A woman and a wife 0f a man who’d already done his duty right after 9-11.
Herrin – I’ve always love law. I was going to study it and I always loved criminology. I love helping to change someone’s life around for the best. And I think that’s what criminology is all about.
You’re never bored. Law enforcement is different every day. I love it and had some great experiences as you mentioned in my bio. I did have the most arrests in one year, actually a couple of times. The most if I remember right was more than 250 in one year. I got that one as part of my Major Crimes Task Force.
Candidates.Vote – What does someone with such a colorful background find herself reading? And what is your favorite book?
Herrin – “As Tuff as they Come,” by Travis Miles. And my favorite book is, “The Little Prince.”
Candidates.Vote – Have to ask about an American food. Are you a cheeseburger or hamburger person – and with either – pickles or no pickles?
Herrin – Oh definitely cheeseburger. A hamburger is naked with cheese on it – what a waste. And pickles are bad.
Candidates.Vote – Both you and Tom are big into lifting and staying in shape and of late cross training has been a staple for you. And I guess it goes along with how you make a living with your www.WonderWomanRide.com .
Herrin – I love lifting and working out with my husband. He’s my workout buddy. Deadlifting is probably my favorite and where I lift the most. My personal best is 327 lbs. My goal is 400 this coming year since I turn 40.
My high school friend started and I started Wonder Woman Ride as we were both riders and doing triathlons. We figured we’d do our own race. Our highest numbers are around 600 women. We will be celebrating our 10th year this year and are hoping for our highest number of entrants this year.
To find out more about Herrin go to www.wonderwomanride.com.