Thursday, July 17, 2008

All Politics Is Local?

There's an interesting on-line discussion this week on several sites about a race for a state representative seat in Kansas. Sean Tevis, an IT guy from Olathe, Kansas, is running for the 15th District seat in the Kansas House.

He's a Democrat challenging a several-term incumbent Republican and he's making a strong on-line pitch that includes an xkcd-style infographic about his reasons for running and his fund-raising approach. Told he needs to raise $26,000 for the run and that the traditional approach is to find 52 people to donate $500 each, he has decided to try instead to get 3,000 people to donate at least $8.34 each. And his web site is set up to do just that.

This approach has attracted notice on several web sites nationally, including on metafilter, where Tevis has been a member for many years. He didn't post the link himself, but he has joined in the discussion and seems to be listening to criticism and suggestions from the many commenters. There's a lively discussion which is generating some contributions and is helping Tevis refine his thinking on some issues.

My interest increased when I looked at the District map and realized that Tevis is running to represent the downtown portion of a town that my great-great grandfather helped found, where my grandfather was born, and where I still have some distant cousins.

As of this morning, he's almost half-way to his goal of 3,000 contributors and he's now known to a wider, and growing, group of politically interested voters. Not all of them, however, are local.

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