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The Tentacle


February 1, 2010

Campaign Diary: The Preparation

Michael Kurtianyk

On January 13, I filed to run for commissioner for Frederick County, as a Democrat. Should I have told my wife and children? J Just kidding!

 

As you know, the first person I spoke with about running for commissioner was Brenda. It was 14 months ago, and I half-expected her to say “no.” However, after a long discussion, she said that I could go ahead and do research. All she asked was that she’d be kept up-to-date on my research.

 

So I did. I spoke with many people (Dozens? Yes. Over a hundred? Probably). The feedback was positive. Mostly. There were a few who said that I shouldn’t do it. They cited reasons such as a loss of privacy, a thankless job, and the like. I did consider these reasons very strongly during the year of research. However, considering my work on various boards and groups in town, the logical next step was county commissioner.

 

The Board of Elections did a great job walking me through the process. There were papers to complete and sign. There was a payment of $25 that needed to be made. One of the staff members said to me: “Come with me, sir, to the back room.” This scared me. I asked: “Is this when the beatings begin?” She smiled, and said “no.” What I had to do was pronounce my name twice into a computer program. All in all, I made it out of there unscathed.

 

I left and had lunch with Brenda. I realized that at her school, at these lunches, I’d have some quiet time with my best friend and talk about the important stuff, like family, school, and the like. I hope that during this marathon of a campaign, I’ll be able to have these frequent rest stops.

 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

 

I continue to do research on various topics. The experts in the different fields have been great about providing me with their insights on the issues. I have called many people who’ve given me their invaluable time to review the issues and the political approaches that leaders have to take in order to be successful. I can never thank them enough. It’s amazing how willing people are to give the gift of time when they know you’re serious and have an eagerness to learn.

 

For example, I met with a person who provided me with detailed information on the relations between the municipal leaders and the current Board of County Commissioners. He gave me great insight as to the political will of various leaders, and the role citizens play in local politics. It was great to hear the perspective of a citizen who’s seen quite a bit during his time here. It was great to hear an historical perspective on local politics.

 

Tuesday, January 19

 

Here’s a story I have been sharing with people:

 

I feel that during my year of research, I was beachcombing. I would walk along the shore, pick up, say, a sand dollar, and say to myself: “Right – I need to do more research on the budget.” Then I’d talk to people about the county budget.

 

Then I’d come back to the beach, walk some more, find the remains of a bonfire, and say: “That’s right, I need to do more research on the incinerator.” Then I’d talk to people about the waste-to-energy facility here in Frederick.

 

This was true until I brought on Amanda Haddaway as my campaign manager. She not only took me off the shore, but she picked me up and carried me on this wave ever since. She’s a young, energetic, passionate Republican who ran, all things considered, a successful campaign for alderman in The City of Frederick. I reached across the aisle and picked the best person for the job. I have not regretted it one iota.

 

So now I’m riding this daily wave of research, discussions, fundraising, etc., so that I can be successful.

 



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