Mr. Steffens on his wife's campaign and the future
Story and videos by Yara Ahmed
Mr. Steffens, an English teacher here at Judge Memorial, was recently introduced to the world of political campaigning as his wife, Shireen Ghorbani was running for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District in Utah.
Although most people would be shocked if their partner decided to run for Congress, Mr. Steffens says that he was not the least bit surprised when Shireen told him she was planning on running. He said, “When Shireen told me she was planning on running for Congress, I wasn’t surprised in the slightest. My initial reaction goes right to the work that she would need to put in, and the work that our family would have to put in, but to say that it was a surprise would not be accurate because Shireen has never been the kind of person who sat things out.”
“If there’s something she feels passionate about she gets involved and that’s been the Shireen I’ve known for the last 20 years,” he said.
He also explained that his day-to-day life didn’t change much because of the campaign. He explained that, to the contrary, his teaching schedule has actually made this process a little easier and that it helps him get all the things he needs to get done. However, he does explain that one of largest changes that the campaign produced mostly revolved around raising his son, Desmond. He said, “Campaigning with a three-year-old is hectic to say the least. Desmond probably thinks everybody’s mom runs for Congress.” He continued by saying that his son “rolled with the punches” and was an absolute champion throughout it all.
Mr. Steffens went on to say that the best part of this all was seeing Shireen interact with so many people. Although Shireen’s beliefs may not line up with a lot of people in Utah’s, as Utah is a conservative state and Shireen beliefs are considered to be center or a bit left of center, she was not afraid to challenge or respectfully disagree with those with with differing viewpoints.
“What’s she’s found is that there’s a lot more that people agree upon, a lot more that unites people than divides people.” He also said that if meeting people isn’t the greatest part of the campaign, then it is running for the wrong reasons.
A week after Election Day, we interviewed Mr. Steffens again to see how he was feeling about the results. “The overall reaction was that this was a really positive step for her, a really positive experience. She didn’t win, but she did better than other candidates had done as a first time candidate as she was. This first race, I mean, it did a lot. It allowed Shireen to introduce herself to many members of the community. It allowed Shireen to get her message out there.It allowed Shireen to be able to run for something else in the near future, so we feel really good about the outcome.
“There are a few options right now and Shireen is kind of weighing them and seeing what happens with some of the other races and she’ll be making a choice in the near future, but she certainly is going to stay active and stay involved and going to run again.”
After this interview Shireen Ghorbani announced on December 1 that she will be running for mayor of the Salt Lake County. We wish her and Mr. Steffens luck with this and all future endeavors.