Lissa is the product of a mixed marriage: her dad was a Democrat and her mom was a Republican. “We vote just to cancel each other out,” her dad always explained. Regardless of the strange household voting strategy, she grew up in a home where it was okay to have differing political views and still have civil discussion and mutual respect. She intends to bring that attitude to the House of Delegates.
Lissa was Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Marietta College. She’s taught English in China, dug up dinosaur bones in Utah, worked as a journalist at the local paper, as the PR Manager for a national window manufacturer, and as the Communications Director for a small state university. She currently manages interactive media and directs her company’s agricultural blog.
In her off time, she brews beer, hikes with her rescue dog, takes nature photographs, crochets, and loves to cook. She also loves yard work, and is working on restoring a vintage 1971 Shasta travel trailer. She even plays dulcimer (sorta). (She says it’s tolerable enough if there aren’t real musicians around.)
She is a lifetime West Virginian. Her mother’s family is from Ritchie County (and indeed one of her great-greats was a Ritchie Delegate to the Wheeling Convention in which WV voted to stand with the Union and secede from Virginia), while her father’s family is from Webster. As a kid, she spent summers in Ritchie and Webster when she was not at home in Wood County, where she grew up.
Lissa resides with her husband on a little 45 acre farm in a house that she insists is “not falling in too awful much.” She and her husband bought for the beautiful, secluded location, not for the house. This becomes clear to anyone who sees the house, she says.
“I’m a regular person,” she explains, “just a regular person who got so disgusted with money in politics that, despite being an introvert, I’m running for office. Writing letters and signing petitions and showing up for demonstrations didn’t do anything for us here. Our politicians have been purchased. I’m a Democrat… but I know this district is being politically sacrificed by Democratic leadership in order to get energy sector money in their upticket races. I’ve called, I’ve written, I’ve begged in person. Running for office is the only other thing I can think of to fight back.”
Lissa says there must be “regular folks to represent us, people who aren’t interested in making politics a life-long career. I want to get the money out of politics. That’ll make a huge difference—politicians will then have to listen to the voters, their real constituents. Then hopefully I can get back to the farm and go about fixing my camper and hiking with my dog.”