In Which I Say I Will Not Run In 2010

(10:00PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

The Dog usually writes about the Constitution on Friday’s (much to many readers chagrin) but this week he has come to a decisions which he would rather write about. As some of you might know the Dog has been looking into running for State Rep in the Colorado 30th House district. Those who have known about this have provided a lot of support for this idea which has amazed and gratified this old hound no end. It is this support and encouragement which makes this dairy so hard to write.  

Being a successful candidate (which is the prerequisite to being a successful politician) has a lot of factors. You need to be personable, you have to be persuasive, you should be knowledgeable (though this seems less important than it should), you have to have time, you have to be able to raise the money and if like the Colorado State House the office you are vying for is not a full time position you have to have either the money to have this be your only job or a job where you can take a leave of absence while the House is in secession.

I am a 6 Sigma Black Belt (process improvement project manager) so when I decided to start down this road, of course, I made a list of potential failure modes. First and most formidable is I would be running against a incumbent. 80% of the incumbents win reelection, this is a fact that can not be gotten around. There are some moderating factors in that the 30th District is a +5 Dem district and the incumbent is a Republican, but it was going to be an uphill battle none the less.

There was the money issue; the budget for a potentially successful campaign is right at $100,000. This is a huge amount of money to rise when the nation is in a massive recession and the personal donation limit is capped in Colorado at $200 for the primary and $200 for the General. I have some ideas on this that were strong, with the ace-in-the-whole of a gigantic family who would all give something if not all give the maximum.

There was the issue of this being my first run for office. I tend to work on national campaigns and while involved in my County party there is a real old boy network involved and there would be a primary challenge. While this would make the campaign more expensive it I looked at it as an advantage in that it could energize the Democratic Party and make it that much easier, if I won the nomination, to get elected.

Issues like voter targeting and win numbers are old hat for me, the data is there, the voters are there, it is just a question of getting out and doing the door, like every campaign. Issues, well hell, if you have read anything I write you are likely to know I am one policy generating dude! I don’t buy into having ideological axes to grind; I grew up in a family of politicians. The lesson this taught was if you are doing this for any reason other than to make the lives of the people you server better, then you really should not start. To me it has always been about doing the most for the most people with the least use of limited resources (I guess I won’t be using that as a campaign slogan anytime soon). The reason to serve is you believe it is the way you can give back to you community for the opportunities you have had, anything else is vanity.

The last piece of the puzzle was the money. I am not wealthy, so there was going to be some serious budget reductions needed just to make a run possible. It was going to be tight, but it was do able, if Mrs. Dog and I were willing to make the sacrifices. We had a meeting and decided to go for it (she is great that way, if there is anyone who has my back 24/7 it is that woman. I really don’t know how I got so lucky).

That all changed yesterday morning, when Mrs. Dog was fired from her job as an assistant manager at Starbucks. The details of what happened don’t matter except to us, but the fact is without her having a stable income this whole thing tips into the No Go zone. It is possible she will find a good stable job quickly, Colorado has a much lower level of unemployment than many places in the country, but I don’t think there will be time as the campaign plan was to announce at the end of this month.

So, what does this all mean? Well I am going to shelve my plans to run for State Rep. As much as I believe I have the temperament and skills to run, win and serve the people of the 30th District and the State of Colorado, I can’t do it if I am gambling my family’s future at the same time. Even if we had a full time legislature with the appropriate pay, I could not in good faith enter into a campaign I would have to win in order to make ends meet.

It is disappointing, as on every other issue I believe I had this nailed down. Sure I would have had to campaign and win, but that is for the people to judge, in terms of being confident I could meet the other challenges I had a line of green lights. However this is not the end. I now know exactly what it will take, and there is another cycle in two more years.

For the time being I will still work on campaigns and issues. The investigation of the apparent Bush Administration torture program is not yet a reality so there is lots of work to do. You all get  (if you do already) to put up with more thought and commentary from the Dog (in the third person) and we will keep trying to change the world one blog post at a time. I choose to see this as an opportunity for me to work on the areas where I was weakest as a candidate, an opportunity to get myself more firmly known by the local Democratic Party and activists. So, while I have to say no to the 2010 election cycle, this is in no way a permanent retreat from the rarified realm of candidacy, it is merely a detour.  

The floor is yours.  


Skip to comment form

  1. And I don’t have to be quite as reasoned and evenhanded either!  

  2. sorry to hear bad news on losing her job, and disappointment for you with this decision. hugs all around.

    You might not be able to see it now, But Im certain that later down the road, you will be able to look back and say, “oh, I get it now” and see there is Some Bigger Reason when these things happen, esp to people like you. You rock.

  3. I think it takes guts to even think seriously about running. I’m pretty sure I would not want to expose myself to such public scrutiny.

    Would an alternative to run for city council, school board, water board, etc to build up your political resume? That way you’d be come a known quantity and more likely to be able to get campaign contributions, or so I would suppose.

    But in the mean time, hopefully your job will hold and your wife will be able to find her next great job. Who knows, this time next year she may be in business for herself even.

Comments have been disabled.