This has been a long journey.
It began in early 2017, when I showed interest in running for office, and many involved and engaged citizens encouraged me to consider County Supervisor. This encouragement even came from the current supervisors, and I’m grateful for all those who showed faith early on. It’s time to thank some key people and groups. I can’t name every single name; it’s been 18 months, and I’m sure to leave someone out. I confess I’m pretty tired this morning.
About 50 individuals made financial and/or in-kind contributions to this campaign.
That hasn’t happened in many Madison County Supervisor campaigns, ever, and makes it clear that this campaign wasn’t about me. Many of you invested financially. Thanks.
So many of you – over 140 – hosted a yard sign.
Thanks for allowing what one of you called “lawn graffiti”. They’re a necessary part of a campaign. Some people went way above and beyond in producing, initiating, and placing the big signs. Among that group of a couple dozen, Elizabeth Hoenig, Mike Kaldenberg, and Robert Bell stand out for the amount of time and sweat that went into the countryside effort.
Thank you, party leadership.
Lots of people on the central committee were very helpful, and I’ll single out our co-chairs Krissa Mason and Deb Kaldenberg, and stalwarts Barb Pfeiffer, vice-chair, and Pam Deichmann, whose efforts to coordinate GOTV were instrumental in reminding us all that there are Democrats in Madison County, and they vote. And, making sure we all realize there’s more work to do.
Local media, and the Development Group, were assets to all candidates.
Thanks to the Madisonian and the Development Group for sponsoring the forum, and big thanks to Jess Lillie at the Earlham Echo and Vicki Minor at The Shopper for all their help in educating me on ad rate cards and tolerating many revisions of my print advertisements.
Passionate citizens made their voices heard.
I’m thankful to the people who used my Facebook page and website to reach out and communicate with me on issues. There was mutual education, and deepening understanding about the complexity of Madison County issues. It started a year and a half ago when Mindy wanted me to understand bridges better, and continued right up until the final days, with ongoing communication with people in all corners of the county. I’m glad Ken and Shelley and Kepler and Mark and Rachael and Joni and David and Jason and Jon and Rosalea and Chris and Susan and many other concerned citizens brought me to their corners of their county to see their views or heavily traveled roads or wind farms or faded signs. It was one of the most consuming, yet fascinating parts of this campaign.
Our Auditor’s Office is astonishing.
Heidi, Shelley, Payton, and Lance. Wow. The quick, unflappable, pleasant way they respond to citizen requests is amazing. They are tireless public servants who somehow find time to run all the county elections and pay all the bills and maintain the budget. Heidi Burhans is a treasure, and I’m grateful for her friendship and leadership.
I’m proud to have been on the ballot with great people.
Vicky Brenner has inspiring empathy, positivity, and energy. Ryan Marquardt is a genius with a great sense of humor and the right approach to life. Jana Corkrean is kind, gracious, and generous in spirit. These are great humans, and have much to offer. And they’ve been fun to be on the trail with.
Congratulations and thank you to Phil Clifton and Diane Fitch.
I wish I would have won. I believe I have a lot to offer. But I’m not devastated or worried, and that’s because the county will be in good hands. Supervisor Clifton has set some important things in motion, and starts his second term with momentum. Supervisor-elect Fitch works hard and shows determination, and starts her first term with a needed outsider perspective. If you watched this race, you never saw negativity or incivility among the three of us, as we genuinely respect each other. Please be good to them.
Julie and Mara are the best.
This kind of effort affects the family. Time away to campaign – and potentially time away to serve – is a sacrifice that affected Julie and Mara. Julie designed and maintained an active and attractive website – the only one ever in a Madison County Supervisor race. Mara stepped out of her comfort zone to knock the doors of strangers and schmooze at community dinners. Mom (Sally Wilke) never missed an opportunity to toot the horn of “her boy.” Dave and Judy Trask (Julie’s parents) were behind me all the way, and even broke their “no yard sign” code for me.
They also tolerated dinner time conversations about wind turbine setback determining factors, traffic counts on Warren Avenue versus Bevington Park Road, and the properties of local limestone road rock. It’s possible they won’t miss those topics.
Last night, after I learned the results, Julie handed me a card. She wrote in it earlier in the day, before the polls closed. On the front, it reads “You did it!” She wrote mushy and uplifting stuff on the inside, congratulating me on my successful election. She assumed I’d win. But I didn’t look at this as cocky, or blindly optimistic. Julie isn’t built like that.
I saw it for what it was; the full confidence and support of a loving spouse. It was the perfect expression of this: She is always on my side, whether I’ve earned it or not. I hope that everyone reading this gets to experience that kind of joy and love in your marriage. Thank you, Julie. I love you.
Thank you all so much.
Now let’s all go do whatever’s next.