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Notes from the Campaign Trail

With the campaign season coming to a close I have three takeaways. First, while running for office has been time-consuming and stressful, I have enjoyed it because of the people I have met and worked with. Yesterday evening, my wife and I drove to Hot Springs to join Fall River Democrats at their monthly meeting. Two weeks ago, we visited the Custer Democrats at Crazy Horse and participated in chili cook-off with the PennDems last Friday. Each group has provided moral and financial support without which I could not have done anything.

Second, almost everyone I talk to about the campaign—friends, relatives, constituents—has advice for me, oftentimes contradictory. Sometimes it’s about strategy and logistics, the pros and cons of going door-to-door, or about issues: taxes, cannabis, healthcare, etc. Probably the most important qualities for a candidate are patience and the ability to listen—to anyone, saying anything. They want me to be their spokesman—which is a definition of the job I want.

Third, while I have truly enjoyed being a “somebody,” I am looking forward to the end of the campaign. I like when reporters and supporters ask for my opinion. Everyone wants to be heard, and for the last six months or so I have been given a pulpit from which to preach. I have also been able to be creative, to craft messages, particularly in radio ads, that I hoped would make me sound like a different kind of candidate, unconventional but not weird or too weird.

In two weeks, the campaign will be over. I will be relieved, grateful, and melancholy.

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