I Hope They All Get What They Deserve

Julia A. Pulver, RN, MSN, CCM
5 min readDec 9, 2018


While out door knocking this past election cycle, in which I was running for State Senate, I walked by a man standing in front of his home, which proudly displayed a Confederate flag. He stared me down, spit on the ground in my direction, turned and went back into his house.

Down the street, I knocked on a door, with the hopes of talking to the owner about his plans to vote, and to answer any questions he might have about me as a candidate. Instead, he released his pit bull from the leash, who proceeding to run at me; biting my arms, legs and coat, before I could get back down the driveway. When I was sufficiently punished in this man’s view, he then told the dog “that’s enough,” at which time the dog retreated.

At other doors I was screamed at, had the police called on me, and was threatened with legal action repeatedly for the sin of trying to engage with voters, and asking them how I could best help them if elected. I had one woman tell me that as a Democrat I had “ruined the whole world” and would therefore never get her vote. I had harassment online and via email that turns my stomach still when I imagine the results, should they ever actually follow through with their thinly veiled threats against me.

For the even greater sin of trying to take power away from the Michigan GOP, I was attacked relentlessly. Ugly mailers seemed to show up almost daily to my friends and family in the district. The smear campaign waged against me, on every media venue possible, even reached my family and friends way outside the district, as money and location seemed to be no object to the Michigan Republicans. My children were constantly barraged with hateful, mean-spirited lies about their mother anytime they used the internet, including at their schools, in front of their friends and teachers. My personal cell phone number was given out in an attack commercial, along with the encouragement of the public to call my cell phone, and harass me, which they did. The MI GOP put out a robocall calling me both a Nazi and a Communist. They were willing to do anything (short of running a good candidate with a positive message who worked hard) to take me down. In the end, the Michigan Republicans spent a million dollars to make sure the voters in the 15th district voted against the person who wanted to ensure their access to affordable healthcare, clean water and fully funded public schools. It didn’t matter that absolutely nothing they claimed was even remotely true. They turned a nurse and married mother of four young children into a scary monster through sheer force of advertising dollars. They lied and lied and lied, and felt completely justified, because they wanted to keep that seat of power.

I was hoping the good people of the 15th district would see through the non-sense, and feel comfortable voting for the person who truly had their best interests at heart. After all, I’ve spent my whole career caring for those who are extremely hurt, and friends, there are a lot of hurting people in our community.

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we came up short. In a race of over 130,000 ballots cast, we came within about 4,400 votes of winning.

While my heart breaks for the 48% of the district that put their faith, sweat and cramped writing hands into my campaign, hoping for a better and easier life for themselves, their community and their state; I can’t help but think about the majority of voters in the district who cast a ballot for my opponent, and now, my State Senator. They voted for a person who has never made those issues a priority, and has towed the extreme Republican line every time. (If past is prologue, he won’t champion any of these issues, and will continue to act as a GOP foot soldier, only seeking to appease the biggest donors, and hold on to power by any means.) But the majority of voters have spoken, and I respect the outcome. The majority of this district got the Senator they wanted. That’s how democracy works. Majority rules. So I’m inclined to think about that slim majority.

And as I think about them, I truly hope they get what they deserve.

That gentleman who spit at me? I hope he still has access to affordable healthcare.

That gentleman who sent his attack dog after me? I hope the kids living in his house (as evidenced by the toys in the front yard) will have a fully funded, robust and healthy public education system.

The out of work people home during the day when I knocked on their door, who told me I somehow ruined the whole world? I hope they are able to get and keep a high paying job with good benefits.

Everyone who has yelled at me, threatened me and called the cops on me? I hope they all have access to clean drinking water, safe roads, and affordable child care. I hope they will be able to afford their auto insurance, and afford higher education. I hope those seniors will have greater resources, so they can age in place, and not be forced into poverty to receive dignified, compassionate care.

I learned early on in nursing, when people lash out at you, scream at you, or even try to hurt you: it’s not actually about you. They are going through something, and it’s our job to help them through it.

So as I try to heal from this blistering election, I will keep that in mind, and remember that the people who yelled at me, spit at me, or even had their dogs attack me really aren’t mad at me, they are feeling out of control and angry at forces beyond me. I will remember that those ridiculous personal attacks weren’t about me at all. It was nothing but fearful, angry desperation coming from a party out of control, declining in power and spiraling downward into moral decay.

I truly hope that the people of my district will still be provided with the basic needs and human dignities that are inherent in all of us, because that’s what we all deserve.

I’m still not certain of all the lessons of 2018, but one thing is for sure; it will take a lot more than attack ads, or attack dogs, to make me stop caring about my family, friends and community.



Julia A. Pulver, RN, MSN, CCM

Julia A. Pulver has been an RN for over 17 years. She has spent her career working with the most at risk populations in Southeast Michigan. #PostRoeHarm