by Pat Ross
Catt Sandler traveled a varied and impressive path to Dover and the New Hampshire State Legislature, all with an eye toward public service. She is running for re-election to serve as Representative for House District 21, Dover Wards 5 and 6, Somersworth and Rollinsford.
In the 1970s, Catt she served in the Army Reserve and as an active duty commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. While on active duty, Catt was one of the first female lieutenants assigned to the Military Police branch.
Upon returning to civilian life, she spent more than 25 years working for a major railroad company, first in security and police, then as the first female Superintendent of Railroad Police for the northern half of West Virginia. Catt eventually was transferred to serve in the company’s labor relations department in Jacksonville, Florida, where she and her family re-located. While attending law school at night, she took early retirement and began working for a small law firm, handling personal injury and family law cases. Because of the Great Recession from 2007-2009, she was admitted into the Federal Bankruptcy Court, motivated by a desire to help clients keep their homes and cars.
After practicing law for a decade, Catt and her husband were both eligible for retirement. With their children grown, she and her husband “sold the house, packed the cars, grabbed the cats, and headed to New Hampshire.” Clearly the weren’t destined to be spending time in the rocking chair.
In 2016, Catt was approached and asked to run for the State Legislature. The rest, as they say, is history. With two terms behind her, and a possible third on the horizon, Catt was asked about serving the people of New Hampshire and to share her ideas and plans for the next session.
What motivates you to run?
It is a great opportunity to be active in politics again after a long dry spell. Public service was highly respected in my family as I was growing up and I need to be involved again.
What do you consider to be the most critical issues confronting the state right now?
The pandemic, surviving it without exacerbating conflicting views of what protections are needed and getting schools and businesses open again SAFELY
Adequate school funding
Environmental challenges, such as the Pease water contamination situation, and the drought
What issues are you passionate about?
Equal rights under the law for all people, regardless of race, creed, national origin, political party, or who people want to love or marry
Labor unions’ ability to protect the rights of workers and the benefits and programs they’ve worked so hard to achieve
The ability of working people in New Hampshire to have a living wage, health insurance, and paid family leave
Free and fair elections: the elimination of gerrymandering; limiting the influence of big money in our elections
What are your committee assignments?
In my first term, I served on the Executive Departments and Administration Committee and the Legislation Administration Committee. In my second term, the Election Law Committee, which I have requested again.
What is your greatest strength?
Attention to detail
And greatest weakness?
Attention to detail
What values guide your work?
Honesty, kindness, patience, and working as if the future of my community depends on my actions
What non-political activities do you enjoy?
Gardening, mostly. I am still hoping to be able to dig a hole somewhere in my yard without hitting a boulder twice the size of my cat!
Pat came to Dover from Washington, D.C. 30 years ago. She serves on Dover Dems' Communications Team handling media relations and editorial oversight of print and online publications.