Monday, November 5, 2007

Tomorrow is Election Day

Tomorrow, after work, Ted, Joey, and I will go vote. This is not only our right, but our obligation. I view voting as a very serious thing, as does the rest of my family.

I have the utmost respect for ANYONE who throws their hat into the ring to run for public office. Putting yourself "out there" for public view, possible ridicule, and intense scrutiny is not an easy decision to make.

Back in 1984 my dad made this decision. He had recently retired, after over 29 years, from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. He was ready to run for county sheriff. This was not to be an easy task, as he was going to be running against the 12 year incumbent. They would be meeting in the May primary. The winner would go on and run against an Independent candidate in the November election.

My first thought...a 12 year incumbent??? Dad, are you serious???

As a family, we all knew that we were going to work as hard as we possibly could to make this dream come true for my dad. Not only did this "group" include the family, but also friends, neighbors, and professional associates.

We began the process with all the gusto we had. First we formed a committee and appointed a treasurer. Then we began researching the election laws, which mentioned all kinds of things, including how to do the financial sheets to how soon you can put out yard signs, and everything in between.

Making decisions on yard signs was a huge thing. Not only did Dad decide on what they said, but the layout and the colors. We used someone's garage as Sign HQ. We got the stakes and used a power nailer to nail them together properly, then a staple gun to attach the signs to the posts. We kept records on who took how many signs and where they were placed throughout the county.

We organized a fund raiser, and made sure that tickets were sold and advertisements went out. We baked and cooked so we could be sure that no one went away hungry.

We also organized the door-t0-door part of the campaign, and I can recall that one guy actually wore out his shoes helping out with this. He was in charge of everything for one very small community in the county and even went so far as to measure the distance from the road to each yard sign. When you went into that community, you could see that all the signs were all lined up and they looked really great!

We accounted for each and every penny that went into every step of the campaign, and the official treasurer and I spent one school night (he was an educator also) "looking for" SEVEN CENTS. Our numbers just didn't work out right, and they had to be precise to the absolute penny. We were at my parents' house and every single time my dad could sit with us and look at the financial stuff with us, the phone rang and it was for him. FINALLY around midnight, we discovered the error. Then I had to type all the reports out, and we didn't have an electric typewriter, let alone a computer!

Being new to the entire of idea of running for office, we felt good, heck, we felt WONDERFUL when we won the election! It was a lot of hard work, but well worth it. It took a lot of teamwork, dedication, and time, but it was a commitment we were all willing to make.

We also knew that there was now going to be a chance that the safety of our county was going to be in excellent hands...IF we won the fall election.


Dad went on to run for sheriff several more times, and ended up being in office for a total of 16 years before deciding to hang up his badge. He was ready to retire from law enforcement.

I've seen first hand what kind of hard work and perseverance is required to venture into this area and I have such respect for those who choose to do that.

Good luck to ALL the candidates as we prepare to vote tomorrow.

(And a special "good luck" to Christa's husband Dave, as he runs for school board tomorrow!)

Don't forget to VOTE!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Cindi! I am a wreck!