09/11/2013 09:13 am ET Updated Sep 11, 2013

Reflections of an Arizona Democrat

Two months ago the COS to my former boss and former Illinois State Comptroller Dan Hynes passed away after his battle with cancer. Keith Taylor would have been 65 today. This has me reflecting on my service not only as a Democrat, but a Democrat in Arizona.

Most of you who know me, I mean really know me, may remember that my start here wasn't exactly an easy one. I put myself and my voice on the line for those who didn't have a voice. I stuck up for my community in ways that no one would even consider. And, as a result, a few ultra-conservatives decided to toy with my livelihood. Clearly that was a short-lived mission.

A lifelong card-carrying Dem, I love what this organization stands for. I really do. The principals, values and focus on social equality shaped my political mentors -- my grandmother who supported the El Paso County Democrats for decades, my father who served two tours in Vietnam, and of course, Dan Hynes and Keith Taylor. We ARE the party of choice.

The Party in AZ welcomed me with open arms after being schooled in Illinois/Chicago politics -- sometimes a tough nut to crack [these political groups], but not this one. To show my gratitude I kept on (and keep on) fighting for what's right. And, I am always one of the first one to put my money where my mouth is when it comes to supporting a fellow Dem. Just ask any Dem. Just ask.

I have kept my promise to my Party, and I will continue to do so. However, any Dem in AZ who chooses to pull support from other Dems who are trying to help low-income individuals, women, children or the disabled -- some of the most vulnerable, are short-sighted.
Short of any copycat Weiner or Filner stunts, we need to be carrying the flag for each other. We need to work on moving more people into the middle-class. The partisan pendulum will swing back, however, the more we validate a "crabs in a bucket" theory the slower the pendulum swings.

So here are some Taylor-isms for you to reflect on today and every day. Dan Hynes humbly shared them while reading the eulogy in front of Taylor's closest friends and family member.

(This may even sound familiar to my friends -- you've heard me say that it isn't the early bird that gets the worm, it's the hustler.)

Number One: Work hard. The way to get ahead is to be the first person at the office in the morning and the last one to leave at night.

Number Two: You must start at the bottom and work your way up. There's no room for prima donnas and no job is beneath you.

Number Three: Be loyal. Period. Keith believed in loyalty and would stay true to the bitter end.

Individual ideologies have no place in the Dem party -- or, at least they shouldn't. We have too much at stake in Arizona to let egos and emotions take control.