PaperCity Magazine

March 2018- Houston

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40 I n any other year, hers might be an improbable candidacy. Now The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times-published writer fi nds herself in the middle of one of the most contested Congressional races in the country. Laura Moser is one of seven Democrats running for the Texas 7th (primary voting day is Tuesday, March 6), vying to be on the ballot against Republican incumbent John Culberson this November. Moser grew up in Southside Place; attended West University Elementary, St. John's School, and Amherst College, then carved out a writing career. Hers is a literary family — mom Jane Moser presided over Brazos Bookstore for years and her brother, Benjamin Moser, has written a critically acclaimed biography of Brazilian novelist/fashion journalist Clarice Lispector. (Moser's dad, Bertrand Moser, is an attorney.) Before jumping into the political arena, Moser was an outsider with an insider's view of D.C., with unique access during a historic time in Washington. Her husband, fi lmmaker and digital political strategist Arun Chaudhary, served as videographer for President Obama; consequently, Moser was a regular at the White House. Her daughter Claudia, when a toddler, famously pitched a temper tantrum in front of the President and First Lady during a Passover Seder that she and her husband annually attended in the intimate Old Family Dining Room. The tantrum was captured on many an Internet page. As Moser escalates from D.C. spouse to making a run for offi ce, her writing career, national byline, and intercultural marriage to a like-minded activist have brought national media attention for her congressional race, including a Vogue profi le and a Time magazine cover with a grid of powerful female candidates. Just how far will she go? Your decision to run for offi ce. After Donald Trump's election, I started Daily Action, a text-message service that brought 300,000 Americans into the political process. Once it took off, people started saying that I should run for offi ce myself. The idea seemed crazy. But then, last Valentine's Day, I walked into the Planned Parenthood luncheon, which my best friend and her mother were co-chairing, and I was overwhelmed by how many women were there — and by how many of them I knew! For decades now, Texas women have been at the forefront of the fi ght against laws that erode our basic freedoms, and there I was, surrounded by hundreds of them. I felt as if it were long past time that these women had a champion. Shortly after that, I saw Hillary Clinton speak at Annie's List, and her speech sealed the deal for me. Was the fact that you had never run for elected offi ce a hindrance or a plus? I wouldn't have minded more expertise in understanding the hiring and staffi ng process, but in general, I think the fact that I had never for an instant ever considered running for offi ce was a gigantic plus. I truly believe that the people who are going to win up and down the ballot next year are women and mothers like me who have felt called to action by the current situation in Washington. Not cookie-cutter candidates who have had their political careers mapped out since fourth grade. Of the seven Democratic candidates running for the Texas 7th, why do you think your campaign has attracted national interest? I am proud of the national attention my candidacy has raised — we will need money and support from all over the country if we want to fl ip this seat. I think the attention is because my background is so unusual and because, as a writer, I know how to communicate my ideas in direct, emotional ways. Twitter has been a huge boon to my candidacy, both in terms of raising money and in attracting an army of in-district volunteers. Mostly, though, I think my candidacy typifi es the women all over the country who have dropped everything and left their regular lives behind to fi ght for a better country for our children. My hope is that once elected, I can use the national platform I've developed to draw as much attention as possible to the problems that need solving in Houston. Our city needs a champion with national reach, someone who will stand on a table with a bullhorn and say, "We need funding to fi x our infrastructure" or "healthcare." Gearing for CONGRESS AS TOLD TO CATHERINE D. ANSPON. PORTRAIT JAY TOVAR. ART DIRECTION MICHELLE AVIÑA. HAIR AND MAKEUP JACKIE TZANG. UP Laura Moser wears Tibi Serra sculpted top in ivory, $345; Sofi e D'Hoore long skirt in red pepper, $715; Pamela Love Anemone earrings in sterling silver, $280; all Kick Pleat, Houston.

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