This last week and a half has been crazy. Trying to move forward but unsure how to proceed. Less than 24 hours before the North Carolina 5th District Democratic Convention and victory is awaiting a handful of provisional ballots from Forsyth County...
I return to my office from lunch and notice that there are about 15 new emails in my inbox, one stands out, "Roy Carter Wins", is the subject.
A sigh emerges from the depths of my lungs and makes it's way to my lips but is sucked back down as a realization hits me, this is no time for sighs of relief. This is game time, and it is on.
My office looks as discombobulated as I have felt over the last couple of weeks. Piles of call lists, scribbled on legal pads, intern applications and job descriptions, event plans, fundraising objectives are all over the place. As what has just been announced dawns on me, I realize that the lists I need are on top, the scribbles make sense, the diagrams and plans become clear. I start to realize that perhaps the leadership of this campaign understood something I did not. That when the tenets of our faith our shaken sometimes auto-pilot is the best we can do. That as we take this next step, we are indeed prepared. The field is set , the team assembled and its time to put into motion all that was seemingly frozen.
I hear Roy and Campaign Manager, Ryan Eller, in the next office discussing tomorrow's speech in between taking calls from different media outlets.
"As a high school teacher and football coach for more than 40 years, I've been a part of many close victories," Roy's booming baritone voice announces, "this was certainly the closest."
It is hard to imagine that there were nearly 80,000 votes cast in the election accross 12 counties and that Roy won the nomination by 475. Tell me every vote doesn't count.
"'People Above Politics' is not just a catchy political slogan," I hear Roy continue, "It is an idea that I am committed too; it is the feeling of change that is spreading throughout our district, our state and our nation. Tuesday's election results and the provisional votes that have trickled in throughout the week, tell us that this change is coming. I am humbled and pleased that I will be working toward this change in everyone of our communities."
I have heard this quote so many times from Roy, and with many variations, but perhaps for the first time, as I sit in front of my laptop, I am listening not as a critic or coach but as a constituent. The words themselves and their meanings hit me like they haven't done before. There's an honesty in his expression of them, I know he believes them. It is not just rhetoric, this is a man who truly believes in making the right decisions for the people he'll be representing. I wonder if I've been taking that for granted up to now.
There will be no team dinners tonight, no hooting and hollering, just a few congratulatory hand shakes and knowing smiles. The premise being that it is time to kick everything into gear. I sit down at my laptop to write this first. Although from now on professionalism will win out, I have to admit, my eyes are a little damp, my shoulders a little lighter and my spirit soaring a little bit higher.