Jun 04, 2004
Guest Post: Stephanie Herseth
In this our second installment on the Herseth rally (Part I here), allow us to introduce guest blogger and America’s newest Congresswoman, Stephanie Herseth:
“I just want to say again how much I appreciate all the efforts of those of you who ventured out to SoDak, survived the weather and helped us achieve victory two nights ago! I also want to send a special word of thanks to those bloggers who helped raise awareness for my campaign and make it a success. I can’t thank you all enough for being part of making history in South Dakota, and I will work hard every day to meet the high expectations I hope you have of me in representing our generation of Democrats! “
In addition, we got guest contributions from about a dozen of our volunteers, all of which are in the extended entry, but here are two samples (safe to say all of them would encourage you to plug into our campaign and get alerts for volunteer opportunities down the line at www.SpeakerPelosi.com):
Charles “Chuck” Mullins, 55
I had a blast in KY in February and had even more fun in SD this weekend. I enjoyed the beauty of the SD countryside and meeting the SD Dems. But most of all I enjoyed the companionship of my group and the excitement of working with other Dems to elect a truly inspiring person. Today, we elected a Congresswoman. Tomorrow, we chop down a “shrub” and send him back to Texas. Com’on Dems, let’s get busy and get to work. We can change this government with hard work and put this country back on course.
26, Dept. of Commerce employee
I have never seen so much energy as I have this weekend. Over 800 Democrats of all races and ages as well as from all 50 states were their to reclaim the only House seat in this state. Although we were different we defined ourselves by our unity—our determination to take back the House for the Democrats. By winning this election we will certainly do well in November. South Dakota is one of the most conservative states but being here this weekend showed me that the Democrats enjoy widespread support and if they can do well in South Dakota I am convinced they will do well in all 50 states this November.
Loren Bird Rattler
32, Public Program Specialist, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian
My experience volunteering for the DCCC was exciting and rewarding. I was a part of the Reservation team and enjoyed the experience working with Native Americans to get out the vote. I would volunteer again.
Michael A. Miller
26, International Affairs Consultant
The canvassing was tough, but it was all worth it come Monday evening. We all had one purpose: To take back the House for the Democrats. One down, 11 more to go. I’d say the most memorable experience for me was knocking on doors in Mitchell near the Corn Palace…crazy architecture out there!
What an exciting day! To have seen the energy, hope, and commitment of all those in South Dakota working on this race was an inspiration. Stephanie’s victory shows that our message can win all across the country. I just feel so thrilled to have played a role, however small, in this tremendous victory. Good job DCCC!
Celina Barrios, Christopher Clark , Eleonor Velasquez, Laura Pena, Munir Madyun
“Without the reservations, we would have won.”
-Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), former chairman of the NRCC
The Indian people of South Dakota spoke loud and clear – Stephanie Herseth has been chosen by the Native voice. With her election, the Dakota Natives have made it clear that their vote matters. No longer will both discount the Native vote – with Shannon County clearing Herseth’s victory at the end, the outreach on the reservations proved crucial and necessary for this win. Rep. Davis - you’re absolutely right.
I was not such a fan of campaigning before I left for South Dakota on May 28. On June 2 when we arrived in Washington at 5 am, I had completely converted. Not only did I have an incredible time ringing 300+ doors and convincing those South Dakotans that Stephanie Herseth would bring them everything they could ask for as their representative, I met, slept with, ate with, shared car rides with, listened to 80s music with a ton of amazing people (in the Spotted Tails group) who helped make an experience I will never forget. Good luck Stephanie!!!!
Who knew that knocking on doors could be so much fun? Hard work and no sleep, sure, but with that concerted effort comes an incredible sense of satisfaction. We made a difference! In South Dakota we worked as hard as we ever had and in the end it paid off. We helped elect another Democrat to the House and in doing so, took another huge step toward a Democratic majority! Thanks Stephanie for the chance to be a part of a winning team!
Todd Plants, 25
At 8am on Election Day, we were out in the streets waving our signs like maniacs for the morning commute. We didn’t see a single Deidrich volunteer. That’s when I knew we were going to win. We were outworking them.
At about 6pm on Election Day, we hit a whole neighborhood for the fourth time. Virtually everyone was home and virtually everyone had voted for Stephanie. That’s when I knew that it was our work that was making a difference. An hour later, the polls were closed and the victory was sealed.
John Juech, 24
The whole trip was empowering and exhilarating. From the time we stepped off the plane, we knew it was going to be a close race and had a real sense that our work was meaningful and was going to make a difference. It was fun pounding the pavement throughout the Rapid City area, talking to some Republicans and political independents who were impressed enough with Stephanie Herseth to cast vital votes that helped her win. I had a great team and an exceptional time driving around the beautiful rural areas surrounding Rapid City. Although we left Rapid City unsure of whether our candidate was the winner or not, we had a constant sense that she was going to come out on trip. It was a phenomenal “Road Trip for a New Majority” in general, and coming home with the victory was the best part of all.
Alexis Rickher, 24
My mom always told me never to go to a trailer park if there is a tornado. But I really didn’t mind risking my life just as long as Stephanie Herseth ended up in Washington on the Floor the next week!
Cheesy as it may be, it was actually truly inspiring walking the streets and talking to the people of South Dakota. Not only are they nice, but they’re Democrats and they’re excited about the new President we’re electing in November.
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