Well, that was... wow.
I am truly honored and humbled by the support that pushed me through the primary, more than 800 votes ahead of my 2015 result. Volunteers worked polls before sunrise and through the muggy October day as record droves turned out for a city primary. At the end of it all, I was in fifth place, ahead of a record fund-raiser, a council incumbent, and a half-dozen other dedicated and qualified candidates. If there is one message coming loud and clear this election, it's that grassroots beats money in city elections, and we're all better off for it.
Now the real work begins. The city general is only 27 days away. The gap between the 3rd place finisher and my result is only 432 votes. I've been in this position before. Worse, in fact. In the 2015 primary, a first-time candidate with little name recognition, I squeaked through in 6th place, 545 votes behind the Top 3. Then, as now, a slate closed ranks against me, tying up donations and endorsements. But by the general four weeks later, I had passed an incumbent vice-mayor and his running-mate to land in the 4th spot. From my current position to a seat on council, it's actually shorter haul now than in 2015.
Make no mistake: the work will be hard. There is little time and, due to the high primary turnout, few new votes to unearth. Mailers need to go out this week to reach voters in time, while canvasses, phone banks and events have to be crammed into a packed schedule of debates and forums. It's the last mile of a marathon, but one I have run before. You know me: I'll go the distance every time.
What kind of help can I use?
- Contributions. Flatly put, if you have been holding off on donating, I could use your support now. Printing and postage has a high price tag in the thousands of dollars. Help us reach more people as soon as possible with a contribution at http://richworksfor.me/donate
- Write a letter to the paper today. Letters have a long lead time. If you want to share your perspective before early voting begins again, submit one now. Citizen-Times and Mountain Xpress forms here and here.
- Talk to neighbors. Grassroots, one-on-one contact had a bigger effect on the result than any other factor. Volunteer to phone bank at Democratic HQ Thursdays, any time 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. Email manager Lindsay at firstname.lastname@example.org to host a get-together any weekday in October. Help with solo or group canvassing: sign up at www.richworksfor.me/join
Most of all, keep your spirits and enthusiasm up. We've been here before. Candidates in this position post-primary have finished in the Top 3 in two out of the last three elections. I've been here before, and with fewer advantages, came within a hair's breadth. We can do it.