Campaign Diary – Plowing The Road
January 27 – The Day After – With yesterday’s “Announcement Day” events having been completed, it was time for me to focus on gaining traction. Today was spent reviewing and evaluating all that happened yesterday. Our goals were successful; we had great turnouts at all of our events; we signed up volunteers to help us with our campaign; we received some very generous contributions; and we let the media know that we’re off and running.
I made sure that we had paid all the bills from yesterday’s events. On this point, for better or for worse, I made the decision early on that I would not use personal monies for my campaign, and I made sure that people were paid in a timely manner for services rendered.
This can be very difficult for a newcomer to the election cycle. I am not an incumbent with a war chest that I can tap into. I also do not have large contributors to the campaign. Many have donated what they can, and this is to be expected, given the current state of our economy. This being a campaign wherein I represent the voice of the people, then this is what our team expected. It’s a struggle, but well worth the efforts.
Today was also the day I realized that there was no turning back now….
January 28 – Batting Average – With the continued downturn of local newspapers throughout the country, many have turned to online editions of their newspapers to provide timelier news to their subscribers. The Frederick News-Post is no exception. I read the online version (and get it daily at home). I have submitted comments to articles online. My name is there for all to see – I am not one who hides behind a fake name.
So it was with great interest that I read the News-Post article by Adam Behsudi. It was well-balanced, fair, and accurate. My interest piqued when I read the now nine comments that people made regarding that article. Of the comments, three were negative toward me, or a position I articulated; two were supportive; two were comments to other contributors, one was neutral, and one had nothing to do with my candidacy. That’s about typical for an article and the subsequent comments.
I happened to see former Mayor Ron Young at his announcement to run for the District 3 Senate seat currently held by Sen. Alex Mooney. I told him that I had a couple of positive comments, but the rest weren’t. His response: “Really? That’s a better average than me!”
Later in the evening I had the good fortune to go to an appreciation dinner for YMCA volunteers and fundraisers. It was a great turnout at a private home, and I not only knew many people there, but I met many people. Many knew that I made my announcement, and I talked to many who wanted to know my take on a particular issue, be it the budget, the incinerator, etc.
And I suppose that this is part and parcel of what I am to expect from everyone. Wherever I go now, I must anticipate being stopped or pulled aside and asked about where I stand on the issues. It also allows the opportunity for people to tell me where they stand on the issues. I still continue to be amazed that the voters have such great access to their local politicians.
February 2, 2010 – Groundhog Day – Had a morning meeting to discuss fundraising, and I had to interrupt the meeting at the beginning to share a story with the group.
Back in August, when I made the decision to run for county commissioner, it took a while to decide on exactly when I should announce. Should I announce early in 2010? Spring? Summer? The decision was made that – for someone like me, a non-incumbent – I should announce early. Then the question became: what day exactly?
I thought about Groundhog Day, but I didn’t want my story to compete with a groundhog, so we moved it up a week. I ended up deciding that late January would work better anyway.
February 3, 2010 – Frederick City Press Conference – I sat in on the Frederick City Press Conference wherein it was announced that local businessman Mark Gaver would spearhead the City’s Public/Private Partnership for a Hotel and Conference Center within city limits. The goal is to raise approximately $50 million through various sources. The press conference was essentially an information-giving session, with the results of a feasibility study unveiled. The scheduled date of completion is December 2014.
As I commented at The Frederick News-Post forum online, this is definitely an idea worth exploring. I look forward to continued discussions and presentations on this.
February 5-8 – Snowmageddon – Our family hunkered down during the 30 inches of snow we received in Middletown during the weekend of February 5th. I spent the weekend rearranging my calendar and getting caught up on reading the volumes of materials people have given me to read to help my campaign.
It was also great to spend time with Brenda and the girls. We played a lot, and watched the Super Bowl, along with the commercials. I wasn’t crazy about The Who’s performance at halftime. I personally would like to see REM or Coldplay. The commercials weren’t too diverse either – it seemed that every other commercial was made by Bud Light.
I wonder how long it will be before Frederick County schools reopen….