As I was graduating college, a little-known state representative from Oklahoma asked me to join his long-shot campaign for governor. He was barely registering in the polls, and it had been nearly eight years since I had lived in my home state. Nonetheless, while my classmates were making their way to elite law and business schools, I was setting up shop in a sparse storefront in Oklahoma City.

Fueled by Camels, black coffee and electoral adrenaline, a small group of 20-somethings propelled David Boren to the State House, riding a wave of anti-establishment Watergate sentiment. It was a pretty heady experience for a 22 year old who went on to become the governor’s administrative assistant for several years — and it could have very easily led me to a career in politics.

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