It’s easy for people to say that the death of Lois Capps’ husband in 1997 threw the former head nurse of Yale-New Haven Hospital into a world of politics that she was ill-prepared for. It’s even easier to say that she was inexperienced and won solely on a pity vote.

How sweet it is to prove them all wrong.

In the past six years, Capps has more than earned the respect of her constituents through her dedication to issues ranging from health care to education. She is continually working to reform prescription drug coverage for the elderly and authored the Nurse Reinvestment Act to combat the current nationwide nursing shortage.

She has also worked hard to reform public school education, from grade school on up to the university level.

Also an ardent supporter of the environment, on Oct. 3, 2002, Capps secured $4.8 million of federal funds for restoration and preservation projects all along the central coast. On Oct. 4, Capps mustered up $2 million of federal funding for a Santa Barbara hybrid bus system in order to combat current problems concerning oil prices and pollution.

Capps voted against President Bush’s resolution concerning the possible use of force against Iraq. It was a significant move on her part, and it showed her constituents that she has the courage to stand up for them in the face of an overwhelming majority.

Her greatest strength lies in her visibility and the connection she maintains with everyone in her district. The passage of the James Guelff and Chris McCurley Body Armor Act, which increased penalties for using body armor during a crime and prohibits its sale to violent felons, came out of a conversation she had with a single San Luis Obispo constituent. Capps listens to her constituents and works with them – often only a single voice will set her in motion.

Capps’ record alone is more than enough proof of her competence and dedication to her constituents. No one else could represent the students of UCSB as well as she can.

The Daily Nexus strongly endorses Lois Capps for the U.S. House of Representatives.