Carrie Rist, a 43-year-old mother of five with an illustrious history of shoplifting convictions and a penchant for leaving dogs in hot cars, is now hoping to become chair of the Prince William County School Board in Virginia. Rist's campaign slogan, "Nobody's Perfect, But I'll Take Your Money Anyway," has resonated with local voters.
In a recent interview, Rist reflected on her past, saying she "can't change anything about the past" but hopes to be "an example of someone who can overcome to kids who mess up." She continued, "But, like, not too much, because then I'd be a bad influence."
During her shoplifting escapades in 2010, Rist found her calling in retail crime, shoplifting a Coach purse, two Estee Lauder lipsticks, and Clinique moisturizer at the Andersen Air Force base in Guam. Rist managed to create a "shoplifter's nest" to conceal the stolen items under her baby's car seat. After a swift trial, she was convicted of one count of theft of government property and sentenced to a $3,000 fine and three years' probation.
Rist's career in petty theft started early, with a misdemeanor shoplifting conviction in 2000 when she was just 19. She swiped a pair of shorts from a Nordstrom in Illinois. When asked about it, Rist said, "I can't remember if it was a guilty plea or not, but I do remember that I was totally innocent. Well, except for the part where I stole the shorts. That was me."
In 2018, Rist also pleaded no contest to leaving her two dogs in a hot car in a Walmart parking lot, which she blames on her then-10-year-old daughter and her friend. "I don't know why the police are making such a big deal about it. I mean, it was just a couple of dogs in a car, not like I left them in a sauna or something."
Despite her colorful history, Rist has the support of the Prince William County Republican Committee, who issued a statement saying they are "very proud" of her as a candidate. Rist is campaigning on a platform of "transparency and accountability," which she believes is achievable by granting four people access to her campaign bank account. "At least this way, they can see where the money goes when it's not in my purse."
Rist, a member of the local Moms for Liberty chapter, remains undeterred in her pursuit of public office. "I think that everyone deserves a second chance," she says, conveniently ignoring the fact that she's already had two chances for shoplifting and one for dog endangerment.
If elected, Rist plans to institute a curriculum focused on life skills such as responsible spending, impulse control, and remembering not to leave living creatures in hot vehicles.