Friendship formed on Campaign Trail Connecting on policy matters

Home  »  Blog  »  Friendship formed on Campaign Trail

Great policy minds: John Stafford, Jim Owen and Alan Tio

One cold November day I was doing door to door in North Pointe Woods. Although I had been walking for a few weeks already, I probably didn’t have as much confidence as I have now after knocking on approximately 4,000 doors. As I walked up the driveway I observed what appeared to be a Notre Dame flag hanging from a flagpole (without a breeze the flag laid folded, so I couldn’t be sure). Nevertheless, I did have some comfort that there would be a common bond with the residents of this particular home as I rang the doorbell. As luck would have it a pleasant woman answered the door wearing a Notre Dame hat!

The woman was Sue Owen and I soon met her husband Jim Owen. As we continued to talk it was readily apparent that we had a lot in common. Jim continued to grill me on matters of public policy and my experiences in being engaged with policy matters. Finally, I turned the tables and began asking the questions. I asked Jim how he happened to know so much about policy and legislation. Sure enough, he was an Associate Professor Emeritus at IPFW’s School of Environmental and Public Affairs. Suddenly the pieces came together as I made the connection to the many friends that I had the privilege of being engaged in policy discussions. We discussed quite a bit that day – from Notre Dame to model trains – but it was the discussion of policy that made the connection.

After I officially declared my candidacy months later, Jim and Sue stepped up and opened their home to friends, family and supporters for a campaign event. John Stafford, who calls Jim Owen his mentor, helped host the event along with my Treasurer, Alan Tio, who calls John Stafford a mentor.

The first yard sign went to Jim Owen

Before the event, I was proud to place my first yard sign in front of Jim and Sue’s home. I certainly hope to become the next State Representative for the 84th House District. However, even if I do not, having the opportunity to meet great people like Jim and Sue Owen, and the experiences along the campaign trail will most certainly be an unexpected reward.