A couple of weeks ago, the Jackson Hole News&Guide told me there was a note waiting for me.
When I picked it up, the editor said it was hand-delivered, and the envelope had no return address.
Inside was an unsigned letter.
It read: “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Thank God you are running for the Town Council. You just need to get elected before the town is destroyed beyond hope.”
I was blown away. Honored beyond words. Humbled that someone would put so much faith in me to help this community s/he loves so much. And instilled with an even greater sense of urgency to win my race.
On top of all that was a great irony.
It’s no secret I’m an ideas guy. Someone who finds great joy in research and exploration. And if I win my race, one of the great strengths I’ll bring to Jackson’s Town Council is a deep knowledge of both my community and other, similar places.
At the end of the day, though, basically I’m an introvert trying to do an extrovert’s job: successfully run for office. And here’s the irony of it all. The anonymous note reminded me that the fundamental reason I got into the race was not an idea, but a feeling. What began as a tickle of interest eventually became a desire to run, which became a passion I felt so deeply that, as of today, I’m six days away from the election.
What happened? The best I can do is point to two occurrences.
Ken Lambert was an orthopaedic surgeon who, for decades, graced Jackson Hole with his skill and larger-than-life personality. Ken moved away 15 years ago, and died earlier this year. Because he so deeply touched so many lives, his family held a memorial service for him here last spring. Looking around at the 200 or so people at the service, I realized how many great people live in my community.Talking to them afterward, I realized how worried they were that no one was successfully working to sustain the essential qualities of this place they love so much.
Earlier this year, I read a biography of Teddy Roosevelt, and was really struck by his “Man in the Arena” quote:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
I’ve studied and written and opined about Jackson Hole for a long time, and the quote created the tickle which became the desire which, thanks to Ken’s memorial, became the reality of my candidacy.
And with luck, in six days the voters of Jackson will let me take things to the next level.
As always, thank you so very much for your support.
PS – How can you help?
I cannot emphasize this enough. Please, please, please encourage your friends to vote for me.
There are roughly 4,500 registered voters in Jackson who have yet to vote. I cannot reach them all be election day, but with your help I can reach enough of them to win. The race will be close, and every vote will matter. Asking your friends to vote for me will make the difference.