A campaign doesn’t run itself. Many people think that today, all a candidate needs to do to win elected office is to buy a whole bunch of time on television, radio, and internet, to run advertisements and the election is in the bag.
But that’s not quite how it works. Anyone running for office needs a dedicated team of volunteers to make it all happen. The Carla Nelson for State Senate campaign team relies on all its volunteers to help Carla knock on doors, march in parades, hand out literature, make phone calls, host events, write press releases, post information on the Internet, drive the candidate to dozens of functions, and greet the public. It takes an army of volunteers, and few campaign volunteers are as dedicated as ours!
“I literally could not have run this campaign without our volunteers,” said Sen. Carla Nelson. “No matter what tasks they perform on our behalf, they get the word out about our campaign to the voters. The enthusiasm and professionalism they bring every day is a source of inspiration to me. I am so thankful for all that they do, to get our message out, and to connect with the voters of District 26.”
So, here’s to our campaign’s volunteers. We couldn’t get the job done without you!
Bobbi and Gene Lewallen are two of our stalwart volunteers. When Carla goes block walking, Gene drives her and our volunteers around neighborhoods and gets campaign literature into everyone’s hands. You will seldom see Bobbi without her ever-present clipboard. Bobbi graciously serves as Carla’s scheduler, door-knocker, and is often our “hostest with the mostest” at our many campaign meetings. There’s a reason you’ll see Bobbi in many of these photos – she’s just about everywhere Carla is!
Fred Nobrega is our campaign manager. The good doctor is Carla’s chief strategist, taskmaster, and consigliere. Fred keeps abreast of all the winds of change in the political climate, puts out fires, and keeps us focused on our assigned tasks. Quite simply put, he’s “the brains of the outfit.”
Dave and Jessica Kuck are our Internet Technology (IT) mavens. They keep the website up and running and constantly update the site, and put the word out to prospective voters via Facebook and Constant Contact. They know all the secret squirrel coding and other esoteric matters that only rocket scientists and four-year-old X Box owners understand.
Here’s Bobbi again with Julie Zuehlke (center) and Julie’s granddaughter block walking in Northeast Rochester. In addition to untold miles of door-knocking scores of afternoons, evenings, and weekends with Carla, Julie has marched along all the parade routes, and has also hosted many campaign meetings. Julie is thoroughly knowledgeable about the inner-workings of Olmsted County politics and is one of Carla’s closest advisers.
Setting up for the Fourth of July parade in Stewartville. Parade co-chair Kelsey Groteboer is cool as a cucumber in the 101 degree heat.
Longtime Nelson supporters Lowell and Sharon Penz graciously hosted a tiki torch patio event for Carla at their home. A great time was had by all, and our campaign raised much needed funds for advertising in local media.
Chances are good if you’ve seen one of the many hundreds of Carla’s trademark red campaign signs, that Steve Johnston put it there. Steve has driven many hundreds of miles getting the signs to the right houses, businesses and farms. Like Santa, he comes like a thief in the night and leaves good cheer all around Olmsted County. Hopefully, Carla’s supporters are leaving milk and cookies for Steve!
Bobbi, once more, with campaign volunteers Dianne Seavey and Vicki Behsman host Carla Nelson’s table at the League of Women Voters’ Open House at the Charter House in Rochester.
Ktitika, Travis, and Lindsay, are some of the campaign’s youngest volunteers. Here they are in the 104-degree heat before the Fourth of July parade in Stewartville.
Leisa Luis-Grill is the campaign’s resident artist. Leisa has lent her artistic expertise to the look of the website, our campaign literature, and graphics for our blog. Leisa also serves as an advisor to the campaign, and has volunteered at many campaign events.
Cheryl Champa stays in shape door knocking with Carla, which she has done dozens of times this campaign season, in addition to her volunteering at events and parades. Cheryl is our expert on poll watching, and we are proud to have her eagle eyes keeping the poll workers honest yet another election.
Dan Hanks keeps Carla’s name in the public eye through his social media mad skills. Dan makes it possible for the Carla Nelson campaign to be wired to the people who go wireless via their iPhones, iPads, Blackberries, and Kindle Hi-Def readers. He can reach as many targeted readers with one tweet in a few seconds as a whole room of volunteers stuffing envelopes and licking stamps the old school way could do in an entire evening’s work.
Here’s Linnea Aaland working as a parking valet during a recent fundraiser for the Carla Nelson campaign. Linnea is a member of the campaign’s inner circle and has worked at many of our campaign events. Every Tuesday, Linnea can be found door knocking for the campaign in neighborhoods in and around Rochester with Carla.
Len Griffith is Team Nelson’s eyes and ears in Stewartville and environs. Len puts his ear to the ground, and gives leadership feedback on how Carla can address local issues and constituencies, and has helped canvass the area with signs and literature.
As much as any volunteers from outside the family, Terry Nelson, Carla’s husband, has devoted many days and hours to the campaign’s success. A true gentleman, Terry is a pleasure to work with and keeps his wry sense of humor ever-sharpened.
Robert Jones is a photojournalist who writes for and photographs for Carla Nelson
Lindsay carried that sign the entire 2-1/2 miles of the parade route in Stewartville last July 4 in 100-plus degree humidity. You go, girl!
Thank you, Team Nelson!