Even though it was his fifth, but not his last, meet-and-greet event of the day, Jon Hulburd was all smiles as he entered Legislative District 10 Democratic headquarters late in the afternoon on Election Day.
The Democrat stacked his schedule after deciding that a mix of burning shoe leather and encouraging volunteer efforts was the way to equalize Republican Ben Quayle’s name recognition, party registration advantage and money edge in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District, although he also poured $500,000 of his own money into his campaign.
“I’ve been waiting for this day for over a year,” said the first-time candidate. “I’ve still gotta meter out the rest of the day.”
Hulburd said he is expecting a very close race, citing a recent poll – commissioned by a Democratic blog — showing he and Quayle neck-and-neck. He said out-working Quayle on the ground level will be his key to victory.
“We can beat our opponent in the field with a real live get-out-the-vote effort,” Hulburd said. “We feel that our ground-game can make the difference if it comes down to 1,000 or so votes.”
Hulburd said his campaign volunteers can be the deciding factor. Indeed, his Election Day press release offered a number to call for anyone who might need a ride to the polls. “We have a guy zipping around town,” Hulburd said.
As Hulburd rushed away to his next stop, a two-hour school board meeting, he seemed energized by the closeness of the race. He said attending a school board meeting might become his Election Day tradition, since he had also attended a school board meeting on Election Day in the Aug. 24 primary.
“It’ll keep my anxiety level a little lower,” Hulburd said.