Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Education of a candidate - Final Week

As I write this blog entry, there's exactly one week remaining in the campaign. Election Day is on November 8th. We've survived another Halloween season here in Salem, the police logs are still being tabulated but as far as crowds go, the nor'easter on Saturday night combined with a non-weekend Halloween to lower crowds a little on the final weekend. Still busy, but not as insane as the last few years have been. Not as good for the tourist-orinted businesses but better for a lot of the residents.

David's soccer team, by the way, is 5-1-1 going into the final week of the season. They had a scoreless tie as the storm got started this Saturday.

In campaign news, the buzz I'm getting back from people is good. We wound up having to print more signs and palm cards. I made some round button-sized stickers that people have been wearing around town - a ton of kids and parents wore them during the Halloween parade earlier in October. That was pretty cool. I've gotten out to do door-to-door campaigning at least 1-2 times per week, including a stint yesterday. We also did campaigning during trick-or-treating time last night. By about 9 when we finally shut the lights out, it was only our house and my opponent's that were still handing out candy. Kind of a perverse Halloween arms race.

During the past month plus, I've had my own debate (in September - still available at SATV's website), been to the main At-Large debate, traveled to Hull on the wind turbine fact-finding trip, met with at least 400 people between events and door knocking, and held 3 meet & greet events. Running for office may be more work than serving in office!

More seriously, I've enjoyed it a lot more than I ever thought I would have. I'm not the sort of person who normally revels in going out and mingling with rooms full of people, or knocking on the door of a stranger. The first few times are hard. Then it gets easier - and after a few more times you start enjoying the interaction. I've met people I normally never would have known existed, and it's turned out to be one of the highlights.

It's also awesome and a little scary the way people put their hopes in you. There's a lot of responsibility involved in any elected office, and you realize it pretty quickly. On the local level I never thought it was as big a deal as it was for national-level candidates. Then I became a candidate and saw it for myself. You lose your jadedness pretty quickly.

So we've still got some more activities to go in this final week, I've got a busy weekend of door knocking ahead of me (and a pair of soccer games - indoor season starts Saturday night!), and a lot of last-minute work. It'll likely be a close election in the end, and I've got to motivate people this week to show up on Tuesday.

See you all online in a week!