The off year elections were generally not very exciting, and turnout in most places was low. However, there was one bright spot for my family.
Jack Stull, my stepfather, decided to run for Waterford Township Supervisor. (For my non-local readers, Waterford Township is a rural township south of Erie with a population of about 3000.) It was too late to get on the Republican or Democratic ballot line, and I don’t think he is happy with either party right now, so he collected enough signatures to get on the Constitution Party line on the ballot.
Usually a third party candidate doesn’t have a chance, but Jack has lived in Waterford all his life, and he knows EVERYONE. He made sure to get out and talk to everyone too. The Republican and the Democrat did not work nearly that hard. Apparently the Republican was complacent, and the Democrat, well, let’s just say that Democrats are rather outnumbered in that township. The Erie Times-News runs a short article about all of the local races, and the Democratic candidate didn’t even bother to answer a few questions for the newspaper.
Jack also made several large signs out of plywood and 2 x 4’s. No cheap plastic signs with the metal frames for him. These signs were sturdy, and were painted in bright yellow and green, and were placed strategically. Everyone, even the most apathetic voters, knew he was running. He also sent out a few hundred letters, explaining his stance on a local issue.
There are only two polling places in Waterford Township. On election day, he and a few local family members worked the polls, and made sure that everyone was invited to vote for him.
On Election Night, I called my mom and asked jokingly how things were going at campaign headquarters. I figured that he might come in second, just because the Democrat was apparently not trying. My mom said they were just about to go to the polling stations to see how the counting was going.
A few minutes later she called back. “We won!! By 23 votes!” I told her not to celebrate too hard.
Jack had received 264 votes. His Republican opponent got 241 votes, and the Democrat got 128 votes.
After the election, Jack had put a “Thank You” over his signs, and he left them up for the rest of the week. On Sunday, I was down to visit, and he was busy retrieving his signs.
“Raymond,” he said, “If you want to run for office some time, we’ll just paint these signs a new color.”