On the one hand: Friedman, Strayhorn think past 45,540
The gubernatorial campaigns of independent candidates Kinky Friedman and Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn said Monday they are on track to getting the 45,540 signatures they need to get onto the general election ballot.
But neither campaign was willing to say how many signatures have been gathered so far.
Strayhorn campaign manager Brad McClellan said the campaign is trying to gather far more signatures than needed to make sure there are enough valid signatures. He said he didn't want to release the number because that might make supporters believe they can slack off on the petition drive.
"We want to keep getting them. We don't want to take the wind out of the sails," McClellan said. "We're in very good shape. But we're going to keep getting them."
Friedman campaign manager Dean Barkley said the staff is not telling him how many signatures have been gathered for fear he will tell people.
"All I know is the people in charge of the petition drive all have smiles on their faces," Barkley said.
"It's proven to be more difficult than I thought it was going to be," said Staci Engman, a substitute teacher leading signature gathering in El Paso for independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman.
About halfway to the petition deadline, campaign novices heading ballot petition efforts in El Paso for Friedman and fellow independent gubernatorial candidate and Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn say the going has been slow with little support from campaign leaders in Austin. Both campaigns said they plan to make it out to El Paso, but probably not until the end of the signature-gathering period.
"We're as frustrated as (Engman) is because we can't get to every pocket of Texas that we'd like to reach," said Friedman spokeswoman Laura Stromberg.
"People forget West of the Pecos people live out here and vote here and even care," said Jay Ann Rucker, a retired teacher volunteering with the Strayhorn campaign. "They really don't pay attention to us."
Rucker said she's been able to gather about 60 signatures so far. The Strayhorn campaign's goal for signatures from El Paso: 10,000.
Finding places with large audiences from which to gather signatures has been one of the toughest hurdles, Engman and Rucker agreed.
Rucker said she's mostly concentrating on teacher group meetings, reaching out to educators who might be attracted to the public education agenda of Strayhorn, a former teacher and school board member.
That strategy has met with limited success, though, because many teachers voted in local contested primary races and can't sign a petition.
Ahem. Sorry about that.
Engman said she and the 30 or so volunteers helping her are getting close to the Friedman campaign's signature goal from El Paso. Already, Engman said, they have gathered about one-quarter of the 2,000 signatures they are shooting for.
"People are excited to have an outsider, but a very credible outsider, who wants to come in and help improve things and do it with integrity," she said.
A visit from the comedian, author and singer would make her job a lot easier, Engman said. Many El Pasoans she has approached for signatures know Friedman's name, but they don't know his platform, why he wants to be governor or what he has planned for the state, she said.
On the other hand, if Friedman does visit, may I suggest that his campaign screen this movie for the locals? Perhaps a singalong of the theme song to go with it, too.
There's more, but you get the idea. Thanks to Victoria Kos for the link.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 21, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack