Ready...Set...Walk - A Candidate's diary

This is a cross post of a candidate diary at SquareState diary

By Anna Lord

The Anna Lord for House District 21 campaign began our 2008 walking campaign this weekend.

In 2006 my walk plan was to knock on the doors of Dems, unaffiliated voters and  households with a Republican woman under 50.  I wore a pedometer when I walked in 2006 and logged 115 miles before I lost it in October.

Our plan is going to require a good deal of support from our precinct chairs.  We are asking the precinct chairs and co-chairs to call all the Dems in their precinct (we provide the list and script) and perform some information gathering.  The information will be helpful to me but also to every other Democratic campaign as well as begin the organizational and  GOTV efforts.  The phone script will also include an invitation to an event (house party/BBQ/coffee or whatever) where they can come, meet other Dems in the neighborhood and learn how they can get involved in local campaigns.

It is at this event that I hope to find our volunteers to walk precincts in the following weeks.  However, since the Dems have already been contacted, we won't be knocking on those doors, leaving us time, and hopefully enough volunteers to cover all the Us and Rs.

When Anna Lord volunteers and I are out door knocking, we will be including an invitation to a post-cluster-walking "meet the candidate" event (held at a local library community room, community center, park etc.) to give people a chance to meet me, ask questions etc. before we move on to the next cluster.

We targeted our first 3-precinct cluster and got the calls started in early May.  While we didn't get follow through from all of the precinct chairs and co-chairs, we held our first cluster house party and were pleased to see some new faces, recruit a few new volunteers and solicit a few new donors.

This past Saturday five of us hit the ground walking (all wearing pedometers this time) and covered our first 140 doors.  While it was back to my husband and myself knocking on doors today, I still feel that we're off to an earlier, better-organized start than we were in '06.  

Today's top walk encounter

I have to share the story of one of my encounters on today's precinct walk.  After a good hour of door knocking, I approached the home of a Republican woman in her late 70s.  She happened to be in the driveway talking with a neighbor when I arrived.  I introduced myself and explained that I was running for the Colorado House of Representatives.

"How wonderful!" she replied, "As the mother of three daughters, I'm always happy to see women stepping up to positions of leadership." I handed her my campaign literature and gave her a brief biography, listing my leadership experience and what led me to run for the Colorado legislature.  She listened politely and then asked "So Anna, what political party do you belong to?" When I informed her that I was a Democrat, she sort of rocked back on her heels.  "REALLY?" she exclaimed, "But you seem like such a NICE young lady!" I laughed but wasn't sure how to respond.  "I mean, you seem so intelligent, well mannered and articulate!  It's hard for me to believe that you are a Democrat!"

After a short, but awkward pause she continued "Oh dear, I'm afraid that I've insulted you.  It's just that I had a very...careful upbringing.  My parents didn't even let me meet a Democrat until they believed I was old enough to...handle it."

I honestly don't know if this woman was serious or was just messing with me, but by this time I decided to just tell her that I was gratified that she found me articulate, well mannered and intelligent and suggested that she should consider me an ambassador of sorts.  She laughed and invited me in for coffee.

We had a pleasant visit, didn't talk much politics but more about our families and children and when I left her house, she said that she would have to break with a half-century of habit and vote for a Democrat this year.  

It is experiences like this that kept me out day after day, week after week in 2006 and what makes me believe that if I can build on it this year, I can win this race.

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Tags: 2008, Anna Lord, Candidates, Colorado, grassroots (all tags)

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