LORA meet and greet in pictures and text

The sun is setting on this election cycle, but last night a few dozen candidates or their surrogates were out for eleventh-hour campaigning at Black Diamond in Fruitland. The parking lot certainly indicated the location, as did the entrance.

Obviously the local Republicans were ready for this – good job guys!

Yet unlike a number of other forum-style events I’d been at where candidates nearly outnumber members of the general public, this one had respectable attendance. The first picture was taken as I walked in the door, the second perhaps an hour later from the opposite side of the room.

And besides the usual cadre of bloggers covering the event, there was the television and print media as well. I spied Michael James preparing for a WMDT-TV interview and Mike McDermott talking to the Daily Times.

I know the cameraman was standing behind me as I was speaking to Marty Pusey so if you see the back of a big guy in a brown shirt, that was me. Speaking of Marty, she’s part of the best team for District 38B.

Of course, perhaps the better draw was the food. Naturally since LORA (the Local Owners Restaurant Association) sponsored the event, there had to be food!

They also had a cause as LORA was collecting money for their scholarship fund.

While the event was interesting and productive overall, the sentiment I heard was that it should have occurred about two or three weeks ago, not on the eve of early voting. Still, the setup was outstanding as you had as long as you wanted to discuss whatever you wished with the candidates.

One in particular fascinated me so I’ll close with the best (by far) sidebar story among one of the participants.

This woman is Kenniss Henry, and she’s the Green Party’s candidate for U.S. Senate. A month ago she was helping to manage the campaign of the woman originally selected to run for the post, Natasha Pettigrew.

But in September, Pettigrew died from injuries suffered in a bicycle accident and Henry stepped in to replace her; it was a natural progression since Henry is Natasha’s mother. Obviously she’s still grieving over the accident but decided to carry out her daughter’s campaign to its conclusion.

Kenniss is interesting in her own right, though, as we discussed her picking up of the torch and previous interaction with TEA Party members at Washington, D.C. rallies. She noted there’s a lot of common ground between what would be on the surface two passionately differing groups and that she felt at home in their midst, not threatened at all.

Obviously I renewed acquaintance with a number of candidates and met some for the first time. But to me this was by far the best story to tell.