My hat is off to you
This campaign would not have worked absent the enormous effort of dozens of people, and the considerable help of hundreds. Let's note that while we lost the election, we did well, and have activated a group of more than 18,500 voters who are ready for real change. Furthermore, take note of the fact that 45 percent of voters in NC 11 voted for candidates who supported single-payer health care, an end to the wars of choice, and to curtail corporate and big-money influence in Washington. This is hardly a mandate for a Blue Dog Dem. The candidate-as-usual moves ahead to November, but almost half of primary voters disagree with much of what he stands for, (to the extent that anyone has a clue what he stands for). I remain convinced that Hayden Rogers represents all that is wrong in Washington. His Republican opponent will be worse, which is small comfort.
Prepare the clothes pins. As promised, I will vote for the Democratic nominee in November, but I will not put one penny into a corporate lobbyist funded campaign. Period. I am so over that. We deserve better. You deserve better.
There are too many people who earned my thanks in our campaign for me to personally mention everyone, and any list is going to have gaps. But there are many who absolutely deserve a shout-out, and at the risk of disappointing a few, here are my heroes. (In scientifically distributed random order, after Linda and Angela who are simply tops, no matter what.)
Linda Brown: If you ever decide to run for anything, hire Linda. Wow. We are the best organized campaign that has ever hit these mountains, and we have Linda to thank.
Angela Leonard: Kept the office humming, and did an amazing job in her first ever campaign role. I will long remain in her debt.
A nod to Jennifer Hill, who jumped into this campaign with both feet, both hands and her heart, and who succumbed to cancer mid-way in our effort. Jen, we miss you.
And a second nod to my brother Cameron, my biggest booster for 59 years, who fell to a heart attack on March 11. Bro, the next battle is for you. Single payer health care is on the way.
Joe Cobble: Our energizer bunny. Absolutely tireless in criss-crossing the district. Benevolent fury.
Pat and Gary Cole: From nuts to bolts to lists to door-tags, you folks are amazing.
James Sheeler: As our spokesperson, James spoke to nearly everyone in 17 counties. I don't think I was anywhere he wasn't first.
Ron Robinson: Appeared from the west with astonishing organizational skills, a huge boost to the campaign.
Herman Lankford: Stitched together our county coordinators, against all odds. Never a feather ruffled, at least to the untrained eye.
Jan Hensley: Jan was cautious at first, but then full-tilt-boogey for our campaign, despite health set-backs. What energy! (Historical note for those offended by "full-tilt-boogey" - it refers to a Janice Joplin title back in the day.)
Karl Odom: Quietly covering every loose end, Karl always showed up, always tended to task, and made everyone else's work look easy.
Julia Rankin: Julia is such a huge fan that she makes me blush, and she was always ready to go anywhere for the cause.
Arleen Higgins: Our insider in the far west, Arleen connected the campaign to everyone worth meeting in the Tri-Counties.
Joe Haun: The backbone of our fundraising effort. Joe challenged others to donate, worked the phone bank, and kicked it up in Deerfields. I cannot express enough gratitude, Joe.
Cheryl Orengo: Pulled out her hard-earned MoveOn moves and moved us forward on phone banking and more.
Lucy Doll: Knew everyone in Yancey and made the connections. Endlessly putting the party back in politics!
Dick and Norma Warren: Rallied the labor troops, rallied the retirees, rallied our corps.
Sally and Chris MacMillan: Stallwart peace activists in Transylvania, which they delivered! And button-manufacturers par excellence!
Rose and Sam Stone: Our team leaders in Henderson County, and Sam worked overtime producing posters and fliers. Huge help.
Daisy and Elizabeth O'Nan: A daughter-mother tag team with whom I've worked for years on chemical sensitivities and wildlife issues. Huge help in McDowell.
Janice Inabinett: We go back a long way, and she took us forward in Swain. You rock, Janice!
Raven Tata: Picked up Yancey County and shook it hard. Next time it will be uphill for the other team.
Jim Hardy: A believer from the first time we met, and the other reason we won Transylvania. He really made connections down south.
Anne Fischer: Our point person in Burke, rallying our troops at Earth Day and beyond.
Janet Banks: Our inroads in Haywood were largely due to Janet's commitment and knowledge of the party there, and what a joy to work with!
Shawna Solito: I think this was Shawna's first organizing effort, but she did great work in Swain, and her personal warmth worked wonders.
Brian Sarzynski: Political theory and communication skills from an experienced pro. Washington is the worse for our loss.
Beth Ostgaard: After taking a principled stand on Amendment One, and stepping down from her post in McDowell, a huge help there. Thanks!
And so many others, with house parties, phone calls, door hangers, and yard signs. I've probably missed someone here who deserves more specific credit, and I apologize. And I know there are hundreds more who ought to be recognized. You are not forgotten (except perhaps in short-term memory ... hey, I'm 61!)
Signs, signs, everywhere a sign
Please do not discard your yard signs. Let us know where to pick them up, or save them in a safe place. Two years is forever in politics. 'Nuff said.