After working on digital media for numerous campaigns, Ashley Aune is ready to start a campaign of her own.
Aune, a business owner and Kansas City native, is running to represent HD 14 in the Missouri House after Rep. Matt Sain decided to forgo re-election. Aune owns a marketing agency, Propel Creative Studio, and has done media work for various candidates in the past.
“I’ve been very politically engaged for years, I volunteered on a lot of campaigns,” she told The Missouri Times. “I’ve been very lucky to have some really interesting views as a volunteer on several campaigns, from Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 to Claire McCaskill’s campaign in 2018. I’ve just been seeing a lot of really amazing people get involved in politics and it’s really been shaping and changing my idea of who can be a politician.”
“I realized I may be interested in getting involved myself as a candidate, I just wasn’t sure necessarily how or when or where. I met Matt Sain, our current [representative], and that’s sort of how this whole thing came to be. He eventually asked me to run for his seat when he decided not to run. I think it’s going to be a really interesting opportunity to use my background as a marketing professional in a political climate where there are a lot of unknowns and uncertainties.”
Aune lives in Kansas City with her husband. Her legislative focuses include health care, Medicaid expansion, and reproductive rights. She is a member of Moms Demand Action and said that she supports common-sense gun legislation. Her most prominent interest is in Missouri’s education system.
“What I’m most focused on is education, making sure that our public schools are fully funded and our teachers are paid what they deserve. I have a stepdaughter in the Missouri public school system and it’s incredibly important to me that she and her peers get the education and opportunities that every kid in this country deserves,” Aune said.
Aune said her marketing and media background will likely benefit her during a campaign season when candidates have to keep socially distanced from voters.
“Who better than a marketing expert to get in front of people when I can’t knock on their doors and shake their hands? I’m hoping that it serves me well with some outside of the box thinking and approaches to campaigning.”
She also said that she would like to share her media knowledge and what she’s learned from past campaign work to help other candidates on their own runs during an unconventional election year.
“As a creative professional, one thing I do know is that innovation is the only thing that’s going to get us through this, finding new ways and trying new things,” she said. “The regular campaigning rule book is currently out the window, and the way I envision it is reaching people digitally in ways that they want to be reached and engaging with them in ways that are convenient for them, whether that’s connecting with them through social media or maybe doing some sort of livestream to help people get to know me. I want to put my personality and beliefs in front of as many people as I can without knocking on their doors.”