In the early days of my campaign for state rep, I was concerned about how my mom would react to me running on the Republican ticket. After all, how would she tell her close friends, including Nancy Stevenson, about my turn for the "dark side".
Well, months later, on this election eve, I just got off the phone with my mom, Esther, who lives in Galena, and she told me she was proud of me: proud of the things I stood for, proud of the things I said, proud of the way I tried to educate the voters to the real perils this state faces.
I told her I was proud, too. I gave voters an alternative: the very essence of an election. I let some voters know they are not alone. I spoke the truth (the true-true) about the awful situation the incumbents have gotten us into.
I am proud I got the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune - which didn't just endorse Republicans regardless of what you might think. And, I got the endorsement of the Chicago Jewish Star - a bigger deal to me than I would have expected it to be.
I learned some important things, too:
- If I ever get asked to run again, I need to know that the party will back me with dollars. We don't have "free" elections, we have very expensive elections. (The printers make out the best!) It is hard to get the reach and penetration without bucks...and I didn't raise that much. Thank goodness for Patch, which gave me the opportunity to express my positions, opinions and credentials in these blogs.
- The 18th district doesn't make a whole lot of sense as configured. It is anchored in a top-heavy-way by Evanston, which has significantly different demographics and issues that Wilmette, Winnetka, Kenilworth. In a very true sense, the configuration disenfranchises those later three suburbs. Someone should fix that.
- People don't want to hear the truth. The other day, I tried to explain to a neighbor how bad things were in the state. Plus, he is a teacher. I warned him about the mathematical impossibility of the state paying down its debt, and about the liklihood that he would not get all of the pension to which he was entitled. "I don't expect to get all my social security and no one is refunding the money I lost in my 401(k)," I told him. "Better prepare to take care of yourself." He thought, blinked his eyes, and said "Okay, I get it. You're the truth candidate. So what is your solution?" "Dave," I said, "the state has a huge, expensive staff of budget people. I am just a guy sitting on a back porch stuffing his own campaign literature. If they can't figure it out - how can I? The point is, anyone telling you they have a simple solution isn't telling you the truth." Dave said: "Okay, I get it...but what's your solution." This renvoi could have gone on forever...kind of like who is on first.
I want to thank the people who helped me, especially: John F., Denis D, Brian, Dane, Shellie (the guy who opens the door for you at the parking ramp in downtown Evanston), Take Back Illinois, Yossi & Jim. Most of all, my talented and beautiful wife, June Shellene, who got me into this in the first place but was with me every step of the way..usually three steps ahead of me. And, my dog, Shadow, my lovely black lab-whippet, who sacrificed a number of visits to the Pooch Park to let me do my "campaigning".
Well, nothing left to do now except plant a few signs in the morning and vote. I am ready and grateful, for whatever the universe decides to send my way next.