Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Kudos to Noah

Politics is not always an uplifting business. Candidates sometimes doggedly work at making fools of themselves as part of a desperate effort to win public office. Others unintentionally reveal that they know little about doing the job which they are seeking. Some candidates who are normally perfectly nice people metastize into grinches on the campaign trail.

By all rights, as a 21-year old running in the same district where his mother is the sitting senator, Noah Grosfeld-Katz ought to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the District 18 delegate race. However, Noah has earned the respect of the other candidates and voters as he has proved himself both his mother's son in his smarts and communication skills and his own man by running an independent campaign.

Noah is running a lean campaign. While some candidates have raised over $100,000 to seek a seat in the House of Delegates, Noah has raised just over $9000 primarily through small donations. Perhaps surprisingly, the name of Sharon Grosfeld does not appear on Noah's campaign finance reports though other Grosfelds have given to Noah's campaign.

I take the numerous and large sums donated to 26-year old Jeff Waldstreicher's well-financed bid by his and his fiancee's family as a positive sign of staunch family backing--also evidenced by their unflagging and enviable support of Jeff at events--which speaks well of Jeff. However, in Noah's case, I take the lack of dependence on his parents for financial support as a sign of political independence.

Noah has also impressed with his command of the issues. He was one of the big winners of Kensington candidate forum in my opinion due to his fluent discussion of a variety of topics in a confident yet self-deprecating manner. Noah's shortage of campaign cash has allowed him to mail only one flyer to voters. Contrary to the usual method of using only a few words in the hopes that voters remember something, Noah has had to cram all of his endorsements and ideas on to one brochure. And it's a good one. While many candidates this year, including candidates for higher office, seem to be running on issues over which they would have tangential influence, Noah's platform is welcomingly related to the responsibilities of a state legislator.

In short, I suspect Noah learned a lot about politics from his mother even as he has chosen to run his own race for delegate. Noah isn't a favorite this year. However, he can carry his head high after the primary regardless of the result. The Democrats are lucky to have him on their team. All parties need young talent like Noah.

The oft-repeated disclaimer: I am volunteering for the District 18 Democratic slate.