Anatomy of an (authentic) American political campaign

Follow the 96-day evolution of a grass roots political campaign as an All-American rural community fights back against the political manipulation of their town board's election.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Day Sixty Nine

Today started off with a bang.

First, I called the Board of Elections on an unrelated matter and found out that my petitions have been deemed valid. The person I spoke to seemed surprised that I had any doubts. Considering that I never received notice concerning my petitions other than an acknowledgement of receipt, I’m not sure how I was supposed to know this information. No matter, it was definitely good news.

The next surprise came in the form of an e-mail from the Republican Town Council person, running for New York State Supreme Court Judge rather than the Town Board. I saw him at the Town Board meeting the previous night, but we did not come in contact there. In fact we really haven’t seen each other since March. I did try to call him in September to verify if he was running for the state judgeship. At the time, he did not take my phone call and I wrote in this blog that it felt as if he was purposely avoiding me.

Well apparently he read my comment and as a result he wrote an e-mail to tell me that he did not know that I called his office until he read it in the blog. He also proposed a friendly get together to compare war stories relative to our campaigns---said I might be surprised about what has gone on.

I was glad to hear from him. In a small town like Eden, it’s pretty counter-productive to not get along with people. While he and I have never been friends, we have always had a healthy respect for one another and I would like to think that we’ll continue in that vein, no matter what the outcome of this election.

So as the day began, it also ended with a big finish. As I approached myfinal door to door house, I met a voter from my former Catholic Church. She was a sprightly lady of senior citizen age who was quick to tell me that she knew who I was and how she didn’t approve of how I mistreated the priest when I wrote my column.

I knew this conversation would eventually happen, but even so, I was caught somewhat off guard by her pointed criticism. While I did not want to argue with her, I did want to explain the reason for my actions and the story about the incident from my perspective.

To her credit, she was a willing listener and as I presented my case, I could see by her expression that she was somewhat appeased by my words. As we continued to talk, our topics expanded to include general conversation about the parish, the town and even our shared Irish heritage. By the time we were done, she was smiling, I was relieved, and we parted on much improved terms.

I have no idea if she will vote for me, but I do believe that she at least has a better opinion of me---which to this candidate is just as important.
 
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