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Reason For Hope In Madison

August 8, 2020

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It is a grand Saturday afternoon in Madison.  Sunshine galore with barely a cloud to be found while warm breezes blow off the lakes.  In spite of a pandemic that has gripped us there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful and optimistic about the future of our city.

I met one of those reasons today.

I was looking out a front window to find if the mail had arrived when I see a woman coming up the front stoop.  She waves and I as round my way to the entry of our home and then the front door she has backed onto the sidewalk.  Such is the condition we now need to live as the virus rages.

“Are you Greg?” she asked.

We had never met but had a few online messages back and forth during the time of gathering signatures on nomination papers for the 76th District.  She is one of seven candidates vying for election to an open assembly seat.  The election is August 11th.

I greeted her from the stoop and after some pleasantries, I expressed my sincere thanks for the time she has spent being a candidate.  In most election cycles a candidate is able to shake hands and talk one-on-one with voters until there is no more rubber on the bottom of a pair of shoes.  With COVID-19 it takes more resolve and energy to make it through the long days, but as noted the weather was very nice to work on a lit drop.

I quickly added that our democracy is well served when there are many voices talking about the issues and asking for voters to place trust in them.  And this district is most fortunate to have so many with impressive resumes, skill sets, and varied experiences with which voters can make a choice.

She reminded me of a comment I made to her in one of our first messages.  I stated that when running a campaign don’t forget to have fun. Too often our politics is overly bombastic, overly rhetorical, and just plain mean. While issues of the day are always frothy and should be discussed there is no need not to have fun in the campaign.  So, I asked, “Are you having fun?”

She said indeed she is having fun.  It was plain to see in her eyes–as she was wearing a face covering–that campaigning was agreeing with her.  Her assistant, who was also wearing a face covering, was equally engaging and obviously also invested in the race.  I thanked her, as well, for being a part of the process of elections.

The other reason for being impressed today with the candidate is that even with a lawn sign in full view for another candidate I am supporting there was still an effort to connect with me and chat.  That is a sign of professionalism and maturity as a candidate.  Let me assure my readers that too often candidates follow a ‘walking list’ and skip past those doors not on the printed page.  That is a huge mistake and one a serious candidate never makes.  So, yeah, I was impressed today.

So I can say with no hesitation, after weeks of reading about and following the various local candidates I have hope for our future.  It may sound corny to state, but after the almost hourly assaults on our senses from Washington I see numerous reasons to have faith as we move forward due to the character and earnestness of those wishing to serve in the assembly.

It does not take one very long after picking up the morning newspaper or turning on the evening news to feel angst when it comes to our democracy.  (As I mentioned to the candidate today one of the foundation issues needing resolution is the way redistricting is undertaken.) But we also need to be aware that with the candidates who have reached out to ask for our vote, given their intellect, background and varied experiences, we are in good hands. If we follow the solutions that have been presented, and if we can act in a timely fashion the angst and divisiveness can lesson.

Not all candidates can win, that we know.  But let me assure my readers that what we have seen locally allows us to know with certainty there is a deep playing bench when it comes to a wide array of local offices that in time will need to be filled.

Yes, there are many reasons to smile today.

And so it goes.

Now go vote!

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