"How's the campaign going?"
It's the question I get most often. It's also the question I'm never quite sure how to answer.
Good? ... Great! ... Your guess is as good as mine. ... We'll see May 17th!
The truth - I suppose - all depends on what you're measuring.
If you're measuring fundraising, things are going well. I've raised about 30% of my fundraising goal. I'm not exactly where I wanted to be but, then again, I wanted to be at 100% by the first month and that was probably a little unrealistic.
Ok, a lot unrealistic.
I have two fundraisers coming up in April and not a ton of expenditures until then. So, overall, I feel like I'm doing fine. I always thought fundraising came easy to me and it does - when it's for other people. It's much harder to ask for money for yourself!
Speaking of... in case you want to get me closer to 50% of my goal, here you go:
If you're measuring voter outreach, things are also going well. I've started knocking on doors and have been met with lots of kindness in support. I also have amazing family and friends that are knocking on doors around Paducah, which is also fantastic. I've spoken at several groups and have done community outreach. I've also begun advertising in local magazines and on Facebook.
Again, I think my expectations with regards to how much I could get accomplished in the first month were a smidge high. I'm trying to recognize any progress as good and not be too hard on myself.
If you're measuring the candidate's mental state, then it just depends on the day! Some days I'm so energized by the conversations I'm having with people who care so deeply about Paducah's future. Some days I feel like everything is such an uphill battle.
Campaigning is hard because you always feel like there's more you could be doing. Or - even worse - you see an opponent out there doing it. I'm beginning to realize what a mind game this entire exercise really is.
You're constantly weighing your actions and words against your opponents and the desires of the voters and the reality of the situation and the concerns of your own family and friends. I find myself - despite my best efforts - second guessing myself and worrying that everything I do or say will upset someone.
Then, I remember.
It probably will and that's ok.
I'm not running for City Commission to make everyone like me (although campaigning can feel like that sometimes). I'm running because I love this town and I want what's best for it and I believe I am uniquely qualified to make that happen.
And I would have needed to learn (and relearn) that lesson even if I had raised a million dollars in February and knocked on every door in town.
So, let's try this again.
How's the campaign going?
It's GOING. I'm raising money. I'm knocking on doors. And I'm learning that being a candidate is so much more than those two things.