I hope that you’re doing great!
November 6th is quickly approaching. Having now met dozens of local, state, and Federal candidates, this Election Day feels more important than others. I admire many of the candidates deeply as people – and of course I can now relate to what they’re going through in running for office.
I often joke with local candidates that what they’re doing is much harder than running for President, because everyone in their district knows them personally and can talk to them anytime. Local candidates are also expected to show up to just about everything in the community (which I, for example, am not).
Some of the most compelling candidates are people that have already been working in the public sector. Rob Sand is running for State Auditor of Iowa – he and I met through the Brown alumni community. Rob had a choice after graduating from Brown – head to Harvard Law School or return to his native Iowa. He chose to head home for law school where he became an Assistant Attorney General in 2010. He prosecuted a nationwide lottery-fixing ring that cheated the public of $25 million and a Ponzi scheme that victimized people in northern Iowa. Now, he wants to use the post of State Auditor to increase the efficiency of organizations in Iowa and audit health care providers that are overcharging the public.
Andrew with Rob Sand, Candidate for Iowa State Auditor, and Tim Knutson, Democratic Candidate for Iowa House District 51
Rob and I bonded over the fact that we both have two young sons. I have no doubt that Rob would make an exceptional State Auditor in Iowa. I donated to his campaign. I believe that he will win. And I confess – I would be devastated if he doesn’t.
I feel the same way about a dozen other candidates I’ve met around the country. Antonio Delgado in upstate New York, a lawyer who moved back home to Rhinebeck to run for Congress who has been subject to nasty ads. Abby Finkenauer, a state legislator in Dubuque, Iowa, who at 29 would be one of the youngest members of Congress. Andy Kim, who is running in New Jersey to preserve healthcare for families. They are all campaigning and working their hearts out to win. Many were prompted to run out of a sense that the country is heading in a dangerous direction and wanted to do everything they could to help.
This Election Day I will be watching the results like I never have before. If Rob, Antonio, Abby, Andy, and a dozen other candidates win or lose, I will be elated or deeply disappointed.
Our political system is not in great shape. It is polarized in a way that has not been true this century. It is largely overrun by money. Many of our leaders are institutionalized at best or corrupt at worst. Solving the problems of this era will require mammoth change that may or may not be possible.
But this system is what we have. And the only way to change it is to win elections and then start rewriting the rules. We don’t have a choice.
I was watching Joe Rogan on Netflix this week, and he said something both funny and profound – if we were to bring back the Founding Fathers right now, the first thing they would say about the Constitution is, “You mean you guys didn’t write any new shit?”
I’m running for President for the same reason that many others are stepping up around the country – they see where we are headed and want us to change course.
If you haven’t already done so, make sure to support your local, state, and Federal candidates this Election Day. Register to vote if you still can. It’s hard sometimes, but get invested and care about the wins and losses.
Let’s win some elections and write some new rules.