Running Independent Means Relying On Community

It seems counter-intuitive but never has being 'independent' meant such a necessary reliance on community support.

As an Independent candidate, I face unique obstacles in a two-party system. The two-party system is designed to keep the status quo; it keeps those in power, in power. What it means for me is that running won't be easy, but it's still very much worth doing. While others wage primary battles, I must collect a minimum of 500 signatures to appear on the ballot in November.

The funny thing about those signatures? I can't collect them yet. You see, in Texas even though I wasn't in the Primary, I'm unable to start gathering signatures until a candidate from each major party has been chosen and the vote on March 6th yielded a run-off in District 22. Normally, I would have been able to start collecting signatures on March 7th with a deadline of June 21st, but now I wait until the run-off concludes on May 22nd, pushing my collection start date back two and a half months BUT keeping my deadline.

The good news? Just because I can't start collecting signatures yet doesn't mean I have to sit idly by (that's never been an option for me anyway): I am making plans and reaching out and setting event dates and asking for support. When May 23rd rolls around and the candidates are set, I will be ready to run (literally if I must) and get these signatures by the deadline.

That's where you come in (and I get to ask really obvious questions in an effort to gain your support): Do you like democracy? Good, me too. Do you live in TX-22? Awesome; you can be sure I'll be coming your way. (Don't live here? No worries, you can still help: sharing is caring and social media is good for that.)

And while there are additional rules for signature collection (signers must reside within the district of the petition, must be registered voters, must NOT have voted in the primary or any run-off for the same position in the same election year, and all signatures must be 'wet', meaning physically signed in person with no electronic petitions of any kind), perhaps the biggest hurdle is getting people to understand this first step isn't even about agreeing with me or my political ideals: it's simply about democracy.

The word 'petition' scares people away, conjuring up ideas of single-issue extremists pushing leaflets in your face and yelling at you about your lack of empathy for (fill in the blank). However, the signatures I need only serve to support my petition to appear on the ballot, nothing more. It's not a commitment to vote for me (although, I'll be honest, that's the end goal... which you probably figured out already and I will work tirelessly to earn). It's a show of support for the democratic process that says anyone willing to run for this position should have the opportunity, just as our system was originally designed to work.

Truly, my strategy is nothing short of putting in the hours of meeting each of you in your communities and earning your support, and you can make that easier by letting me know ahead of time that I can count on you. If you haven't yet, be sure you're registered to vote; whether you live in my district or not, this is the greatest privilege we have. Then drop me a note on the Get Involved page and I'll be sure to come to you--or let you know when we hold events so you can stop by--and when May 23rd rolls around, we will blow these 500 signatures out of the water together.

#election2018 #TX22



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