In a few short months, we have accomplished what it takes other candidates a year or more to achieve (if ever)—enthusiastic supporters, willingness to commit time and money to the effort, and good old neighborly "how can I help" enthusiasm. We went from "no chance" to "well actually..." in under 5 months. The positive reception was truly uplifting, making the effort that much more meaningful.

We always knew that running as an Independent comes with regulatory hurdles. In particular, the 30-day window for Independents to access the ballot if the Republicans or Democrats go into a runoff. And we find ourselves within this time frame.

While we laid out a detailed plan over months and executed it to make our petition targets, we ran up against a severe labor shortage, high gas prices, and record heat for the paid canvassers under a shortened time frame. In addition to my block walking and volunteer efforts, we simply haven't been able to field the paid team at the level we need to make the numbers work for the June 23 deadline without bringing on a supplemental team. A less than 30-day window in a non-urban area was always tough. Still, these factors are far beyond any viable solution without raising the cost per signature significantly—a per signature cost that rivals the acquisition of actual votes in the highest-profile races. It was already pricey. It had the potential to get worse—and provided no guarantee of success.

However, we are onto something big here. But to execute big, one needs time to execute. So, I hope to give us just that by moving our focus from accessing the ballot for the 2022 November General Election to the 2024 election cycle using the resources we have and infrastructure we built.

Although disappointing, the timing may be to our long-term benefit because it:

  • Leaves funds in place to build on our success so far,
  • Provides time to find out if there will be another round of gerrymandering in the next legislative session,
  • Allows a lawsuit that seeks relief from the onerous time frames and costs experienced by Independent and third-party candidates to make its way further through the courts.

I hope you will join me as we move to the next steps of this grand experiment to make politics local again!

— Kodi Sawin