First Campaign Reflections
After a very appropriate 35 day campaign period, tonight I learned that I had won a Selectboard seat in my hometown of Norwich, Vermont.
There were no cheers or jumps for joy… instead I turned to my “opponent” Claudette Brochu, both of us running for the open 3-year seat, and gave her a hug.
I only knew Claudette “virtually” from the infamous Norwich Listserve – until about 2 weeks ago, that is. And since that evening when we together exited one of the two Selectboard meetings I have ever attended, I came to know her as a kind, committed, and knowledgable Norwich citizen with only the best interests of the town in mind.
The local online gossip platform worked hard during the last 7 days, especially, to make enemies of all of us; Claudette and myself… as well as Kris Clement and John Langhus (running for the 2-year seat). As we have heard during the past few months on a national scale, all of us “resisted”.
Win or lose, today was always going to be a fulfilling day for me. By the time the clock struck 7pm and Bonnie emerged from Tracy Hall to let us know that the polls were closed and we could enter and await the results, I knew that Claudette, Kris, and John were all people with whom I didn’t always agree today, but with whom I knew I COULD agree if we had a chance to work together. And knowing that, I felt that Norwich was better off regardless of the results.
Yes, we were opponents. But we also had a common purpose for a better and unified Norwich.
John Langhus and I both prevailed. The kids who campaigned their hearts out for us outside Tracy Hall all day didn’t hurt our cause… though they tested our usually very patient Town Clerk’s patience considerably!
Having learned over the past weeks the tremendous value Claudette and Kris would have brought to the table, we are that much more committed to doing the very best job possible for the citizens of Norwich.
Winning is often good for the ego, but not always so good for the heart. My heart tonight felt we lost two good people to a process that has stood the test of time for years, decades, perhaps even centuries. But as much as they will allow us, we will call on them for advice and counsel going forward. And hope that they, and frankly all others who have raised their hands (stuck their neck out), will continue to donate their time and passion and expertise to Norwich regardless of the outcomes of this or any previous or future election.
Honored to be an elected public servant. 🙂