“Tonight’s the night.”
Last night, I heard that my opponent has spent $35,000 on this election. Couple that with his (I’m told) at least 1500 campaign signs. DJ had several mass mailings, while I had one. DJ’s campaign literature was professionally done. Aside from my mailing, my literature (a brochure) was printed on our personal monochrome laser printer. I’m also sure that DJ put in many more hours doorbelling. In running for office, DJ’s a pro, I’m an amateur.
For comparison, I spent about $4500 of the $4995 (cash and in-kind), that I raised ($5 short of my self-imposed limit), and I have about 50 campaign signs. So I spent 1/8th of DJ’s total, and had 1/30th of the signs.
If money spent, incumbency, name recognition, and doorbelling are the only means to win even a small-town (40,000 people) election, I’m going to get somewhere between 1/8th and 1/30th of DJ’s total votes.
On the other hand, I have an edge in local endorsements from individuals, groups, and the major local newspaper (Everett Herald), I seemed to get a better response (though there’s no objective measure) from political forum events, and have been informed of strong under-the-radar support from many networks. I have also been told that my many opinions posted on EdmondsForum.com have been convincing.
Last, I need to mention that DJ was censured by his fellow Council members in last week’s City Council meeting. I’ve written elsewhere that I do not agree with how that happened, and I wish the election was not tainted with the censuring. When doorbelling after the censuring, not a single person mentioned it (and neither did I).
When I declared my candidacy last June, it never occurred to me that I had a chance to win — given my opponents edge in every conventional campaign area. My purpose in running was to bring out issues to voters — issues that I had hoped DJ would embrace during our discussions over the last four years. He did not, to my satisfaction, so I declared my candidacy. As the campaign went on, and people began to support me with encouragement, ideas, and financial contributions, I began to think of my campaign as an experiment in winning votes without spending a lot of money. I think I’ve managed that, and we’ll see to what degree I have.
I want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement, which kept me going throughout this campaign. Tonight’s the night.