Future politician? Mamie Hertel goes to D.C.

Doreen Heintz

Montana senators, Sienna Riley (left) and Mamie Hertel pose for a photo prior to the Girls’ Nation group photo.
Photo courtesy of Mamie Hertel

Mamie Hertel (front row, right) joins the rest of her community at Girls’ Nation.
Photo courtesy of Mamie Hertel

After her accomplishments this summer at Montana Girls’ State and Girls’ Nation in Washington, D.C., don’t be surprised to see a future in politics for Moore senior Mamie Hertel.
Hertel was selected as Moore’s Girls’ State delegate early this spring. When Hertel attended Girls’ State from June 11-17 at Carroll College in Helena, she had already made up her mind the direction she was going to take.
“After I had talked to Kaitlyn Weinheimer, who represented Moore at girls’ state last year, I made up my mind I was going to run to be one of the senators from Montana,” said Hertel.
The two senators elected from the 130 delegates who attended Girls’ State this year would then attend Girls’ Nation in Washington D.C.
“While I was campaigning, I got to know most of the other girls,” added Hertel. 
Besides attending all of the activities during Girls’ State, Hertel stayed busy making lots of campaign signs.
“I made six big posters about me,” she said. “I also made 25 smaller posters that I hung in the bathrooms, hallways and everywhere else I could think of. I also made some smaller cards. I got up early one morning and handed the cards out to everyone as they came into breakfast.”
On the day of the general election, Hertel went one step further. She attached a rope to one of her large posters, so she could wear the poster all day.
“I wanted everyone to remember who I was,” Hertel said. 
Hertel had made the general election by being one of two members of her political party to garner the most votes.
“At first, I didn’t think I had made it to the general election as I heard another name called out from my party, and I didn’t realize each party had two candidates advance to the general election,” Hertel said. “I got really excited when I heard my name called also.”
During the short week in Helena, Hertel made many new friends. Her new best friend is Serena Nelson of Dillon.
“I have talked to her very day since we have been home,” Hertel explained. “She helped me out a lot during my campaign, especially with making my posters. Some nights we stayed up until 2 a.m. working on posters.”
After winning one of the two senate seats, Hertel admitted to being a little bit overhwhelmed.
“I actually cried tears of joy when I heard I had been elected as one of Montana’s two senators to attend Girls’ Nation,” Hertel said.
The other senator elected to represent Montana was Sienna Riley of Kalispell.

Hertel elected secretary at Girls’ Nation
On Saturday, July 22, Hertel left Montana to fly to Washington, D.C. to attend Girls’ Nation. One hundred delegates, two from each state, were selected. The group stayed at the National 4-H Center, located in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Girls’ Nation lasted for six days. Although much time was spent seeing the sights of Washington, D.C. each day, the girls also spent time introducing bills, debating them and then passing some.
Hertel said she and Riley introduced a bill to cut food waste in grocery stores.
“Our reasoning behind the bill was that $1 trillion worth of food is wasted by grocery stores in the United States each year,” said Hertel. “One-fourth of this waste would feed the world’s hungry.”
Hertel added that the Montana bill was one of 16 bills to pass at Girls’ Nation. A total of 50 bills and resolutions were introduced, one from each state.
In addition Hertel was elected secretary of one of the two parties at Girls’ Nation. Each political party elected a president, vice-president and a secretary to make a total of six elected officials. Hertel was one of the six.
The Girls’ Nation delegates had the opportunity to visit the White House and see President Trump. Hertel and Riley also met with both of the U.S. senators from Montana.
“Senator Daines took us into an appropriations committee meeting and did a snap chat story with us,” said Hertel. “We visited with Senator Tester for about 20-25 minutes. He talked about the two pathways one can take to become a politician and about his life in becoming a senator. He also inquired about our lives.”
This was the second visit to Washington, D.C. Hertel has made in two years. At approximately the same time last year, she was there with the FFA Washington Leadership Conference.
“I got to see things this year that I missed last year,” said Hertel. “I think one could spend a month in the nation’s capital and not see everything. I am just so impressed with how much history is right there in one spot.”
The opportunities afforded Hertel through the two events she attended this year have been eye opening for her.
“Coming from a small school like Moore, it was great to find other people with similar interests and ideals,” Hertel said. “I have found a lot more people who are just like me.”
“I feel now that I will strive to be the best I can be,” added Hertel, “no matter the situation.”
Hertel looks forward to her senior year at Moore High School, which will begin in just a few short weeks. This summer has provided Hertel with many opportunities to grow as a person, as she prepares to leave a small school and head into whatever the future holds for her.



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