Her life journey has taken former congressional candidate Kim Coleman from New Orleans to Texas, Massachusetts – and ultimately Utah and Brigham Young University – where this gumbo-slinging graduate of the University of Utah (with a degree in Psychology, Sociology and a certificate in Criminology) has now spent six years in the Utah House. Celebrating almost 25 years of marriage to husband Joel, this duo teamed up in raising their five children on a basic platform: “Our Home. Our Values. Our America.” This same platform just so happened to be her theme while running for Congress.
Clark H. Caras, of Candidates.vote, recently had the opportunity of spending time with Representative Coleman on the eve of her endorsement by the last congresswoman to hold Utah House District 4, Congresswoman Mia Love. This interview further explores why, on the night she decided to run for Congress with 40 friends and supporters in her living room, she was back and forth from there to the kitchen where she was making gumbo for the group!
Candidates.vote – So at the end of December 2019 you had 40 people crammed into your house as you sought their ideas about should you or shouldn’t you continue your run; why was it your job, a candidate for Congress and member of the Utah House, to feed them too?
Representative Coleman – Oh, I love to cook and jambalaya and gumbo are my favorite things to cook. See, it’s a Southern Thing and I’ve got the best of the South in my veins. My papa, dad, is from Texas and my momma, mom, is from Louisiana. And my grandma from Texas used to come and spend weeks and weeks with us and I just loved being around her. And if you were around her then you did what she loved doing – cook. So, yes, I love to cook and especially what she taught me to, it is part of who I am and what I’m very proud of it.
Candidates.vote – In your run for Congress it seemed you had an amazing core of support around you with family? Was that something important to you?
Representative Coleman – My kids have grown up campaigning for the past 20 years. If not for me then for someone else we’re supporting. I may be the only parent out there whose nine year old gets excited about doing a honk-and-wave. When they found out I was going to do the run for Congress, one of the first things they wanted to do was an all-night sign-run. So we hit the Maverik and loaded up on Gatorade and snacks and hit the road.
It’s a bit funny now because there were a lot of “Kim for Utah” signs out there; when I was out driving around with my youngest and we drove past a sign, every once in a while, I hear, “Mom you’re running for Congress! Gosh, my mom’s running for Congress.”
Candidates.vote – You mention the crusades you’ve been on or part of and I understand one of those is named “Monticello”.
Representative Coleman – Yes, Monticello Academy (Charter School located in West Jordan, Utah) is a result of my being active in the community. I believe in school choice and that there was a better way to be educating our children. That’s why I decided to run for the Utah House, because I thought, hey I have a solution. My husband, Joel, and I decided we can take care of it. We can build our own school; that’s how Monticello Academy came to be and why I’m a member of the Utah House.
Candidates.vote – With all the campaigning and responsibilities with committees and such with the Utah House, do you find any time to do reading you like?
Representative Coleman – I love to read for entertainment, but I usually find myself reading about policy and free speech protection. Right now I’m reading, “The Coddling of the American Mind. How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.” (By Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt)
Candidates.vote – You love to cook your southern dishes, but I have to ask, with the simpler fare are you a cheeseburger or a hamburger kind of person?
Representative Coleman – Definitely cheeseburger. If you’re going to eat a hamburger patty then you’d better go all the way with it. And before you ask, yes, with pickles too. The juices all have to mix together before you can take a bite.
Candidates.vote – So I have five sisters and they all love to cook, but they can’t do it unless they are listening to music. What kind of music might Rep. Kim Coleman like?
Representative Coleman – My kids laugh, but I like Duran Duran, alternative, classic and the Jonas Brothers.
Candidates.vote – What was the message you had for people in the Fourth District about reasoning behind “Kim for Utah”?
Representative Coleman – I was running for Congress in Utah’s Fourth Congressional District to stand and fight, toe-to-toe, tooth and nail, to keep America free and prosperous, safe and strong for our families and for our future. And that is something I plan on doing in whatever I’m involved and wherever my beliefs take me.
For more information about Representative Coleman, visit kimforutah.com.