November 6, 2012 was a great day. We fully expected to lose. It had been a hard campaign, but it had been a blast.
We met lots of great people campaigning in all 23 counties of Wyoming during those 8 months. I really enjoyed talking with people on their doorsteps. For all the resentment I have for the political class and party insiders, the main thing I gained from the campaign was how much I love people…regular people.
That night, I was bummed that my friend Joe Barbuto had lost his seat in the Wyoming State Legislature. But President Obama had been re-elected, something my family had rooted for and something I had predicted as a political scientist. It is nice to be right and on the winning side on occasion.
On the night of November 6, 2012, I was full of hope and optimism about the future. I loved my job. We were preparing to move into a new house.
I was excited about running…again…maybe for the same seat…maybe for something different.
Within six weeks of election day, it would all be in shambles
Life in politics and life in Wyoming went abruptly from being our future to our past. Looking back, we are glad to have moved on from both, but it has been a hellish ride. Luckily, Las Vegas is turning out to be a great place for recovery.
A year later, I am still trying to emerge from the bitterness and anger that would overwhelm the hope, optimism, and love I felt at the end of the campaign.
I lost my hope for politics, my job, and my stability. However, I still have my family and my faith.
They are all I ever really had.