Bringing the thunder for new candidates

Just got a hot tip today that a friend of mine is going to be announcing for the legislature in March. It will be a challenger race, so it’s right up my alley. We’ve got to do a little talking to see how much involvement he wants on my part (thank God for e-mail, or else I couldn’t do this long-distance).

He asked if I'd be willing to help him. My response to him was "I wouldn't let you prevent me from helping."

This, and the one I’m already working on, are campaigns I’m very pumped about. Demographics look very promising, and I think this person has the fire to go all the way. The only possible handicap would be if Republicans don’t field a second candidate, but since straight ticket voting has gone by the wayside, it’s not that big a deal nowadays.

If there’s something I try to do well, it’s to work with young candidates and help them run credible campaigns that show them as the serious competitors they are.

There was one I worked with this last election that we lost – and I was seriously disappointed with that loss. We did everything right, and we still came up short. A strong showing by Daschle’s GOTV in one county is what sunk us. I went to bed thinking it was ours. But we were denied.

Regardless of the loss, the most pleasing part of it was the transformation of the campaign from the beginning to election day. The reports coming from the candidate in the beginning were that his Democratic opponent was dismissing him as just some young kid. But by the end I’m told the “D” was seriously scared that my guy was going to beat him.

The only thing that would make that sweeter would be that my guy gives it a second try. And I’m hoping he will.
This year, plus the two mentioned above, it’s looking like I’ve got another couple of candidates I’m going to offer advice and suggestions to (and it’s up to them if they want to use it). Plus whatever projects I end up doing for a few selected statewide candidates.

With all that on my plate, it’s a wonder I expect to find time to do any blogging this year. Thankfully, half are where the primary election is expected to be the tough one, and the other half it's the general. It helps to divide up the time and effort.

And win or lose, I anticipate at the least we’ll be bringing the thunder!


Nicholas Nemec said…
In SD House races failure to have a running mate is the kiss of death. The ballot says "you may vote for two" and people read "you must vote for two" or else they think that voting for one or zero is wasting a vote.

I'v always thought single member House districts would be better. It would insure better matchups. A weak candidate couldn't hide behind the skirts of a stronger running mate. Single member districts would be half as big as current districts and therefore easier to cover in a race allowing more time to get to know the constituents. In rural central and western SD having districts with 3-7 counties is the norm. A candidate might have to drive 2-3 hours to get to a town on the other end of the district. That obviously cuts into the time to meet voters.

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