Campaign success measured by impact

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 25, 2004

They came, they voted and then for the most part they went home and waited.

But there were others, people who poured their heart and souls into the campaign.

People who had nearly, if not more, emotion riding on the outcome than the candidates themselves.

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We ran a picture Wednesday of just such a worker on the inside of the paper. That picture, taken by Tracie Trohainside Gene Hisel’s campaign headquarters, summed up the election

better than 100 stories could have done.

Hisel bent down consoling one of his workers, Irene Johnson. She sat with her Gene Hisel T-shirt and a red hat pulled low over her eyes, crying her heart out.

After all the mudslinging, double talk and political maneuvering, that moment is still what should be at the heart of every election.

We don’t know how Hisel is measuring the success of his campaign.

He finished third in a four-man race.

However, if we could offer Hisel one piece of advice, we would say let that moment be the measure.

If his campaign touched someone’s heart like that, then win or lose, he must have done something right.

What gets lost in the hoopla and the celebration of an election night, is often the moments like that one.

Shared between people who believe in a common goal and a common vision.

The truth is there were probably moments like that all across Selma Tuesday night. That’s the beauty of politics.

Scrap away all the gunk, the rhetoric and the fighting and politics is still about people working to achieve a better future for themselves, their family and their community.

To all the candidates, winners and losers,

we say thank you for putting your hearts out there and trying to help.

We can only hope your campaign was as successful as Hisel’s.