After almost seven months on the campaign trail, I'm sorry to report that it's worse than I thought it would be. Seeing how candidates have to maneuver to curry favor is sickening. Witnessing the shallowness of the electorate is depressing. And there's the always-present stench of corporate influence.
A friend said it seemed like I wanted to go take a shower. A month of showers won't help.
When I announced I was running, I hoped I'd be creating a platform to talk about ideas. The truth is, I already had that platform at BlueNC. But beyond that, it turns out that campaigns aren't even about ideas. They're about money and connections. I knew that going in, but somehow I didn't internalize it. Now that I have, it's like drinking poison. I don't have the stomach for it.
Ironically, being a candidate has actually interfered with my ability to be heard. If I say something critical of Roy Cooper, my words get filtered through a competitive lens. "Of course Protzman would criticize Cooper. He's running against him."
I wish I could say it's been fun while it lasted, but I can't. I won't miss it. Not one little bit.
PS Ken Spaulding is also running for governor. Keep an eye on him. He's a good guy.