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Choosing to be inspired, a candidate's wife and a grassroots campaign

by: Ellinorianne

Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 16:11:16 PM PST

(Don't forget Gary's ActBlue page. - promoted by Brian Leubitz)

That's right, I'm a candidate's wife, it happened rather quickly too.  Well, I've been married to the guy for almost ten years, but the candidate part has unfolded in just a few days.

Now, why am I not the candidate?  Oh, it's a long story and I've not been as good of a Democrat as my husband has been, really.  I am still registered as Decline to State.  Yes, how is that for a confession?  But Gary, my husband, has been registered as a Democrat for many years and he unabashedly calls himself a party loyalist.

So how did this come about?  Let me tell you...

Ellinorianne :: Choosing to be inspired, a candidate's wife and a grassroots campaign
We live in Orange County, Ca.  It is a red County to many but emerging to be more purple than anything else.  I started my political blogging last year when I decided to get involved in the Presidential Primaries.  I chose my candidate and I was off and running.  I found my voice during this time and was and still am a proud contributor to EENR.  It made me sane.

I also decided to get involved in local politics because in order to make real change we need to be aware of the political atmosphere closest to home.  It's the sort of change we can have more influence over and it also can lead to a more involved community and electorate.  And, it was time to let Orange County know that there were many more proud Democrats than ever thought of before.  

Gary and I live in the California State Senate district number 33.  When a call to run was sent out last week I thought, well why not? Oh, that's right I was ineligible.  But to think that no one was going to run as a Democrat seemed unimaginable to me. If a Democrat doesn't run then how can a Democrat win?

That's when I asked my husband if he had any interest in running.  Yes, that was it.  He said he'd think about it and I got him to talk to my contact in the Orange County Democratic Party Friday morning.  The next thing I know, he's putting on a suit jacket and filing paperwork at the County's registrar office! (How is this for a moment, Gary wanted to purchase some information from the Registrar but he didn't have fifty cents in change on him.  He went to his car and a Republican running for another position in the County said he would have given him the money!  Gary got the change from his car and purchased the information on his own though.)

Okay, some of you know me, but who is this Gary guy?  What makes him think he can run for office?  Why not I say?  Gary has a Ph.d (UCI in Ethnomusicology) a Masters (Claremont College in Conducting) and a Bachelors (Chapman College in Conducting also) and is a tenured Professor at Cerritos College.  He's great with people and one of the smartest people I know.  It's a little annoying at times but he's also smart enough to know not to make others feel dumb.  I'm hoping I can get him to come by and tell you more about himself, but for now, that's just a little bit.

Most importantly, I'm really proud of him for taking this leap.  It's a leap in my in my mind because it's intimidating, especially when the last Republican took this district by almost 22%!  It also doesn't help that there are 20% more registered Republicans than Democrats, but who lets things like pesky numbers stop them?  If a Democrat doesn't run then how can a Democrat win?

My understanding is that there are two Republicans running in the Primary and both have raised half a million dollars each.  It seems like I've heard this one before but instead of 100 million dollar candidates, we have 500 thousand dollar candidates.  It's still a half million more than what we have. (Mimi Walters is the Republican that is expected to win the nomination).

So what is next?  I have a stack of paperwork, forms and handouts and I set up our ActBlue page and it went active today!  I just had to fax over the applications Gary submitted to the Registrar to show that we are, indeed running for office. Wow, just typing that out is rather bizarre.

Both Gary and I have decided that we will run the best campaign possible even though getting that "D" on the ballot is an important first step.  The next thing to do?  Yes, raise money.  Grassroots is an understatement here but I also hope we can hire a Campaign Manager and a Treasurer so we can do it right.  If a Democrat doesn't run then how can a Democrat win?

So, Gary's politics?  I can't speak for him directly, but I can tell you he's a progressive and I've actually witnessed his "progress" over the last ten years.  Being a teacher has made education a priority for him, not only higher education my primary as well.  When we have more details on an actual platform (I can promise you this, it will be more detailed than Ms. Walters and it won't simplify the issues either, there are complex and varied issues facing not just Southern California, but the entire State), you will be the first to know.  Well, maybe the second or third.  We don't even have a website yet!  I couldn't wait to share the news and I really wanted to talk about this, if a Democrat doesn't run then how can a Democrat win?

Gary was impressed with Edwards and as far as I know, he was going to vote for him, but when John suspended his campaign he voted Obama.  

Gary's ActBlue Page.

And, the candidate and his daughter Charlotte...


Cross posted from The Daily Kos

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Awesome (8.00 / 2)
It wasn't until someone posted the map of this district that I realized SD-33 includes Tustin, where I was born and raised (Go Tillers!). I was always excited to hear that your husband was running, but knowing this hits home amplifies that excitement rather significantly. I'll definitely talk him up everyone I know there (still a considerable number of people).

My own sense is that he should run on yachts and schools. Make the Republican defend tax breaks for yacht owners while schools, which most voters in this district care a great deal about (except maybe for Orange, they're a bunch of wingnuts). Plus I have to believe that there are a significant number of voters there worried about their home mortgages, or the cost of sending their teenagers off to a UC or CSU. Nail 'em on that stuff.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

Thank you! (8.00 / 1)
Yes, Yachts are so important to everyone in the community huh?  He really feels passionately about education, not just because he's a teacher but because he's seen how it can change lives and how it changed his.

We've just begun but I wanted to get this out there and start talking about making that choice, just taking a chance and encouraging people to be involved locally.

Thanks again, this is just the beginning, next thing, I have to get him to write something.

OC Progressive
Progress, not perfection!

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