JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Before settling in Jacksonville, Nancy Soderberg served on the White House National Security Council and worked as an ambassador for the United Nations. She says the deaths of four American diplomats in Libya is a reminder that it's a dangerous world out there.
"In situations as in Libya and Egypt, they're going through a difficult transition. You have fanatics that sometimes break through that security, and it's very rare. But when it does happen, it's just devastating," she said.
In Libya, gunmen stormed the U.S. Consulate, setting fire to the building. Among those killed in the attack was Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, a man who had worked on the front lines helping the Libyan rebel movement overthrow Gadhafi.
Soderberg said, "This is a government that we helped install. We stood up for these people against a very brutal dictator. Gadhafi's gone. The people want to build a country, and we are there helping them do that."
Now, Stevens is the first U.S. Ambassador to be killed in an attack since 1979. Soderberg says her heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones. And she says the attacks should spark another conversation about stopping terrorism worldwide.
"We're out there trying to help the people of Libya and Egypt have democracy. And what's interesting is that they want our form of government," she said. "Ambassador Stevens was one of our finest public servants, as well as those who perished with him. And it's a sad day for American diplomacy."
Soderberg hopes her experience abroad will translate on a state government level. The democrat is running for State Senate Seat District 4, against Republican Aaron Bean. The election is in November.