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Monday, February 19, 2007

Complete list of school board campaign posts

This is something I'd meant to do awhile back, then some real-life things kept me from devoting the time really needed to compile this together. I said way back when that I was going to be blogging about my school board campaign so that if others ever found this blog and if they were considering running for office, that I would do my best to describe what it's like to go through this process. Instead of forcing someone to wade through all those posts looking for the campaign ones, I've made them all available here, going in chronological order from top to bottom. And I might have missed some in the flurry of posts that happened between the campaign's inception and now: if I find any, those will get added to the following list...
August 4th, 2006: ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm now a candidate for public office
My first notice to the public that I was a candidate. I posted this the day after I filed to run. The idea had been going through my head for about a month and a half up to this point. By the way, the whole thing started when Richard Moore - I'm pretty sure he meant this in jest - suggested on live TV that I should run for school board on his weekly Political Soup show. I was working in the control room at the station right behind the set when he said that. A lot of people have told me since then that they were pretty impressed at how serious and how far I took the campaign after that.

August 7th, 2006: First press release about my run for school board
In all my years of writing and getting published, I had never written a press release. This was my very first. It was suggested to me that in my campaign I should "play up" my youth because that would be a considerable asset to have, given that I'm in the same age bracket as a lot of the parents of children in the county schools. I think I made the mistake of playing that up too much in this press release... but hey, first time out the gate you can't be expected to do everything right, eh?

August 9th, 2006: My campaign now has a website!
I worked for about two days straight to get this up and running early in the campaign. Then my friend Ed Woody "tweaked" it a little bit more. Here you can see the first "knight chesspiece" logo that I used, before adopting the one that Ed found that was used on all my campaign literature.

August 11th, 2006: Report on my campaign: I am NOT a committee!
The first thing I legally had to do after filing the paperwork to run was establish a campaign committee and name a treasurer... even though the "committee" was myself and I was my own treasurer. It was also required that I give my campaign a unique name. And so the Knight for School Board 2006 Committee was born.

August 21st, 2006: Campaign issues: The theory of "Intelligent Design"
This was an issue that I'd posted on the campaign website when it first went up, but then I withdrew it a few weeks later. The reason was that I'd realized that people would probably be more interested in where I stood on more local issues than the "big" ones. Looking back I should have done that more... and I'll definitely do that if I run next time. This was initially going to be the first in a series of posts about my stance on a wide range of subjects, but this turned out to be the only one I managed to post.

August 24th, 2006: Making a contribution to the Knight for School Board 2006 campaign
That's basically what this post is: soliciting contributions. A little more of the legal requirements for running a campaign is illustrated here.

August 27th, 2006: Campaign website gets new look
The debut of the new knight chesspiece logo, the one that would be used throughout the rest of the campaign, in addition to improving the website a good bit.

September 16th, 2006: "Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs..."
This was the first post dealing with the campaign that I had made in a few weeks. During that time I had gone to a few public meetings, met with people and handed out cards at football games, and was working on some creative stuff behind the scenes. It took me about five days to really settle on the final design of my sign... and I'm really quite
proud at how it turned out.

September 17th, 2006: Celebrating Constitution Day
Fellow school board member Eric Smith had a rally on this Sunday afternoon for his campaign and those of a few other political candidates and I got to attend. It was here that I gave my very first political "stump speech"... standing on a real stump I might add!

September 29th, 2006: My yard signs have arrived!
I was so happy to get my yard signs that I had to post a picture of what the final product looked like. I also posted a photo of the bumper sticker that I made up for my car (one wound up on Mom's car too, but the back bumper on Lisa's car absolutely can't accommodate a sticker 'cuz of all these molded indentations in it).

October 1st, 2006: TV ads from other school board candidates
Eric Smith and Richard Moore both had commercials running on the TV station at this point, and I made links to where they were at on the Internet. And for the first time I make public mention here of working on my own commercial. Who would have thought that before this election was over, all three of us would wind up in the pages of The New York Times and several other newspapers because of our ads?

October 3rd, 2006: 23 hours = 1 minute
This should have been the first indication to everyone that there was going to be something very, very unusual about my first campaign commercial.

October 6th, 2006: School Board Campaign Commercial #1
A grand total of 45 hours went into producing this one minute of footage. It was posted on the web a few hours after the commercial first started running on WGSR. Station general manager Charles Roark made this ad the topic of discussion during the 5:30 call-in segment and it made the telephone lines "light up like a Christmas tree". News host Mark Childrey continued the conversation about it well toward the 7 o'clock hour after making it the first item in that evening's news. A few days before I promised advertising rep Debbie Moore that this commercial was going to be "mind-blowing". Going by the reaction it evoked that evening and the next few days, it looks like it definitely was that :-)

October 11th, 2006: News & Record article on those wacky school board commercials
And with Lex Alexander's write-up about the ads that Eric, Richard and myself had produced, the press was starting to have a lot of interest in this school board race. There would be a lot more media exposure before this was all said and done...

October 12th, 2006: "What if you don't win?" And some thoughts about the commercial...
Partly a response to some people who thought I wasn't "being serious enough" by running the commercial. And partly it's me articulating here some thoughts I'd had as a candidate about winning or not winning an election. A somewhat long essay.

October 18th, 2006: Just finished the second commercial
Letting people know that a second commercial was on its way.

October 18th, 2006: The second campaign commercial
The first post from this date was really pretty late at night. This is from the following afternoon. Once again I put it on the web a short while after the station started airing it. This is the one that I was accused of "folding like a cheap accordion" regarding the first commercial. The truth of it is, I'd always intended for the second commercial to be a lot more serious. But the reaction to the first commercial sort of demanded that I made note of that.

October 24th, 2006: TONIGHT: Candidates Forum: Round 1
The first time that the school board candidates (most of them anyway) came together for a public forum. Of the two forums that were held, this one was easily my favorite. It's a lot easier to connect to the people you're speaking to when you can actually see them as opposed to it being televised. Over a month and a half later and I'm still feling proud at how this one went.

October 24th, 2006: Snapshots from the field: putting out signs
Posted a short while after the first forum report. A photo of me putting up one of the many yard signs from my campaign.

October 25th, 2006: News articles about last night's canidates forum
A collection of links to the stories that the newspapers around here had about the forum the previous night.

October 25th, 2006: TONIGHT: Candidates Forum: Round 2
The live televised forum. The first part of the post was written before the forum, and I addressed some concerns here The second part is the report of what happened that night, filed after I got back home.

October 26th, 2006: Because I'm feeling so good after coming out of two candidates forums...
What does a candidate for school board do to celebrate two good public appearances? Here's how I commemmorated the occasion :-)

October 27th, 2006: Watch the school board candidates forum online
Links to where you can watch almost the entire forum, in Windows Media format (special thanks to Richard Moore).

October 30th, 2006: Straight-ticket voting: A truly wasted vote
This is something I've believed since long before I ever entered a political race. But the matter gained a lot more weight when I thought about it as a candidate. Not a post about "the campaign" per se, but it's the personal observation of a candidate, so I'm including it here.

October 30th, 2006: Campaign Commercial the Third
The third and final TV commercial, again appearing on YouTube shortly after it started airing on WGSR Star 39 that night. This is the one that a lot of people described as "beautiful" and "one of the most unique political ads ever made".

November 1st, 2006: The Campaign: Public Disclosure of Finances
It would soon be a matter of public record, so I published how much in contributions my campaign took in and how much was expended. Again, I did this mostly because it would probably be of interest to anyone who might want to know what it's like to run for office and manage your own political campaign.

November 2nd, 2006: I made THE NEW YORK TIMES!
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would someday be looking at my picture in The New York Times. That first commercial attracted a lot of media attention: the News & Record, then WXII Channel 12 in Winston-Salem ran my commercial on the 6 o'clock news (and I heard that Fox 8, the Fox affiliate may have done the same thing). Then this happens. The mention in The New York Times kicked off a four-day long spree where a lot of newspapers picked up the story about my campaign... and the infamous "Death Star blew up the schoolhouse" commercial.

November 3rd, 2006: "Okay, we'll go."
The final thing I do so far as active campaigning went in my first-ever run for public office.

November 3rd, 2006: Sneak peek at this Sunday's newspaper ad
What my half-page ad - that ran a few days later in the Reidsville and Eden newspapers - looked like.

November 4th, 2006: Video: Three candidates talk about making THE NEW YORK TIMES
YouTube-hosted video of a segment from the previous night's newscast on the Reidsville TV station where Eric Smith, Richard Moore and myself talked on live TV about our getting mentioned in The New York Times. This is a nice video that underscores how upbeat and positive this entire race had really turned out to be (well, of course this was before the events that took place a few nights on the day before the election, but that shouldn't detract from how people in this race had been really nice with each other).

November 4th, 2006: NEWS & OBSERVER article mentions the "lightsaber" commercial
Now the Raleigh newspaper gets into the act. I didn't get to see the actual hardcopy until about a week later but they put a pretty good-sized color pic of me wielding the lightsaber right on the front page... just like the News & Record and The Reidsville Review did.

November 5th, 2006: THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER is calling me a Jedi
That's the two biggest newspapers in North Carolina that have done stories about my campaign and the "Star Wars" commercial. By this point I've resigned myself to the fact that the image of me with the lightsaber will be THE defining visual of my political career for as long as I live... but I supposed there's a lot worse things to get caught doing, right? :-)

November 5th, 2006: What should I do on Election Night?
Whimsical contemplation of how exactly I should spend the evening as the results roll in...

November 6th, 2006: How the GOP pimps gay marriage for votes
Definitely NOT a post about the campaign per se, but at the end of this post I do reiterate something here that I promised a long time ago I would do if I ever ran for office. And I think I wound up holding myself to that in this campaign.

NOVEMBER 7th, 2006

For November 7th and 8th, the postings on this blog were done in a "live action" format. I started in the early morning hours of Election Day when we were finishing-up putting out signs at the precincts and did it like this until just before I went to bed on Wednesday night. The following several posts, as well as I was able to do it, are very much a running commentary about what happens in the life of a candidate for public office when Election Day finally comes...

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 1:51 AM EST

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 4:42 AM EST

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 6:47 AM EST

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 7:18 AM EST

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 8:12 AM EST

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 9:01 AM EST

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 10:27 AM EST
With photos!

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 12:35 PM EST
Another photo!

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 5:32 PM EST
Returning from the final round of poll appearances. This is also the first mention on this blog about something amiss - and illegal - involving another candidate. I would wind up involved with this matter for at least a month following the election.

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 7:02 PM EST
An example of some of the behind-the-scenes humor that came out of this campaign, and another pic of my lovely wife :-)

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 8:15 PM EST
By this time the polls had been closed for 45 minutes. This is the first report from the absentee and early voting.

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 8:22 PM EST
Still waiting for some word from the polls.

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 8:46 PM EST
The first results from the polls start trickling in.

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 9:11 PM EST
The moment when I literally staggered: it was reported that well over two thousand votes had been cast in my favor.

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 9:30 PM - FINAL RESULTS
The final tally from the polls. I didn't win a seat... but with 4,584 votes I couldn't help but feel awfully proud. And I still do :-)

November 7th, 2006: ELECTION DAY: 11:06 PM EST - What I'm feeling right now
Here I attempted to recap what had been one of the biggest days of my life. It was a completely ineffable experience... but I did my best to share what I was feeling about it all.

November 8th, 2006: ELECTION - THE DAY AFTER: 11:42 AM EST
What happens to a guy who didn't win an election on the day after Election Day? Find out here! :-)

November 8th, 2006: ELECTION - THE DAY AFTER: 2:34 PM EST
Election Day 2006 was considered "historic" by some. I hadn't thought at all about what was going on in the House and Senate races... and after running my own campaign and the experiences that it brought, I'm hard-pressed to believe that I'm going to see the big national races as having the same kind of importance that I used to give them. For what it's worth though, here's where I offered up my own two cents about what else was going on during this election.

November 8th, 2006: ELECTION - THE DAY AFTER: 8:33 PM EST
There was something that three months earlier I said I would do do if I won a seat. Even though that didn't happen, I was still on an unbelievable high after getting so many votes! So I went ahead with my plan anyway... :-)

November 8th, 2006: ELECTION - THE DAY AFTER: 9:07 PM EST
Yeah still feeling good about coming in 8th place out of 16 candidates (which was pretty good all things considered). So even though I didn't win the election, I didn't mind getting Lost tonight...

November 8th, 2006: ELECTION - THE DAY AFTER: 10:04 PM EST
Made just minutes after Jack sliced into Ben/Henry's kidney sac. Kate now has roughly an hour to make her escape. What would happen next on Lost? We wouldn't find out until February! Yes, life is finally starting to return to normal in the Knight household!

November 8th, 2006: ELECTION - THE DAY AFTER: 11:11 PM EST
Election Day/post-election "live coverage" wraps up.

January 10th, 2007: Closing out the books
I close out the Knight for School Board 2006 campaign committee.
It had been a long three months, and I'll always be thankful for God giving me the opportunity to experience this. It definitely changed my life for the better. And if you are reading this and you think you're being led to run for office in some capacity too, I hope that the preceding list of posts will be of help in your consideration.