Campaign Diary – Winding Down
One of the things I’ve joked about with people close to me is that I would love to come out with a “tell-all book” after this campaign is over. So many things go on behind the scenes, and it is easy to get caught up in all of the claptrap that is local politics.
What did this person say? What did that person write? Who’s blogging now? What was posted? What was tweeted? Who is attacking me again? Who is being attacked? In this era of public media scrutiny, it is easy for people to say anything about anyone, and in many different outlets.
I do like the emails I’ve been getting from people who, seemingly out of nowhere, write a variation of the following: “I know you’re very busy, and I appreciate you taking the time to read this email. I want you to know that this issue is very important to me and many others who I know want to know where you stand on this issue.”
The writer then proceeds to detail their issue, with a request for a response. Though the email is addressed to only me, I hazard to guess that other candidates also received it individually and separately. I expect, and hope, that they answer these inquiries; but, of course, I have no way of knowing.
We did go to a forum pretty much every day this past week. On Monday (the 18th), the Frederick County Commission for Women held a luncheon for the commissioner, Board of Education, and state delegation candidates. It was one of the first times that all of us were together at the same time. We were given opportunities to introduce ourselves, and then, and this was unique, we could choose to answer any or each of the three questions posed from the audience.
On Tuesday (the 19th), the Democrat candidates were invited to the Eastalco site for a presentation on what was happening there. Republican commissioner candidates were there the day before for their update. It was essentially a meeting to dispel rumors and clarify what the plans are for the site. It was a proactive approach by a company that has been a mainstay in Frederick County for many years.
On Wednesday (the 20th), we went to the Carriage House in Emmitsburg for a forum, similar to one we had before the primary. We spoke for four to five minutes, and then we were asked questions from the audience. It was also an evening with the state delegate candidates. I actually like the idea of being with the state delegates at these forums. It gives me an opportunity to get their take on the issues affecting Frederick County. I also like watching how they present themselves, and talk to the audience members. I’ve learned a lot from watching the veteran politicians and their interactions.
On Thursday (the 21st), we had a forum at Deer Crossing Elementary School, sponsored by the Lake Linganore Association. It was well attended, and the hot cider was delicious! The commissioner and state delegate candidates were there. We were given four minutes to speak. After that, we answered questions from the audience. The difference was that all of the candidates sat facing the audience, and it was a long time up there, with only a few minutes to actually talk. I liked it that there were members of a Boy Scout troop who asked questions of the candidates. It was refreshing to see the youth engaged in this manner.
So, with less than two weeks away, this is still a difficult race to handicap. How many voters will come out? Will the early voting bring out more voters? Will the unaffiliated come out and vote? How will the endorsements help, or hurt the candidates? How will the two county commissioner slates fare in the election?
I thought that being in the campaign would give me insight as to how to handicap this race, but it’s simply not true. The reality is that I’ve had a hard time rising above the campaign to look down on the race from an objective point of view. It almost impossible because we’re all so focused on our own races that we don’t see the forest we’re in because of all of the trees.
People ask me all the time who I think will be in the top five, and where I stand. My only answer is that I really don’t know. We will know on November 2 or maybe the 3rd, or even the 4th when absentee ballots are counted – like after the primary in the District 4-A delegate race.