As a candidate, you hear the question "How's it going?" a lot. My answer is always "great". It's true, but it is also part of the mindset you need to keep when running for office. As former Texas Senator John Tower is quoted as saying "Don't let your coattails hit you in the ass." Running for office is not just physically draining, but also emotionally exhausting:
"So-and-so is not happy with you."
"You can't say X, or so-and-so will not be happy with you."
The worst is "So-and-so thinks you are ______." Never in my life have I had my identity or what I believe defined by so many strangers. It's a big reason why I stay as busy as I do. I let my actions speak for me. What I tell you is only as good as your history with me and whatever credibility I've built up in that time. But what I do, that stands for itself. If you want to know what my priorities are, look at where I spend my time.
Finally, this campaign is about learning. Any candidate who comes to a race with their platform and ideas already compiled is missing out on the best part of running for office. There is no shortage of people at the top of their field, whether it is education, energy, transportation, real estate, employment, or social services, who are willing to educate you on the dynamics of their profession and how state law affects their work. If you know anything about me, you have to know how much I love "policy wonk stuff". In fact, a great majority of what I'm learning has made me embarrassed by the false certainty I've had over years of writing this blog. I didn't know anything compared to what I know now.
When I win, it will be up to all of us to make sure this was a race worth running. Community engagement doesn't work if the community is not interested in being engaged. Can we leverage technology to create new portals of access? Can we motivate people to look at their community and say "How can we make this better"? Can we fundamentally change the way people experience their government?
I think we can. But I need your help.
Have a great Friday doing what you love! It's impossible not to.