Helping Overthrow Greg Abbot and Bring Back Competency to the Office of the Lt. Governor

Written by Niko Smith

I started working for Mike Collier’s Campaign for Lt. Governor back at the beginning of September, not really sure of myself, nor was I sure that I could support the Campaign well at all. Those worries flew out of my mind after I actually started working. Once I was onboarded I was made to be a part of the financial team. At first, I was completely unsure of what I was supposed to do, I showed up on my first day, and did no financial work. Instead, we had received orders for literature and political postcards from around the state, so I sat down and counted thousands of pamphlets and postcards and had to separate them into different orders. Some of the orders were as big as 1000 pamphlets and 2000 postcards. I don’t know how long it took but, finally, after 4 days of focusing on those orders, I was pulled and started to work on the finances of the campaign.
As I stated earlier I wasn’t sure what to expect, what I for sure didn’t expect to be doing was essentially stalking people! My supervisors would give me a list of 800-1000 names, and I’d have to go and insert every name into white pages and find the correct phone number for each name. Some of the names had addresses that I could use to narrow it down, but a lot of the time I was forced to use small clues to figure it out. For example, a lot of the names on the list I was given had email addresses, so looking at who the email provider was could clue me into the age range of the person I was looking for. So if a person had a Hotmail account, the person whose information I was looking for was most likely older. or if they had a number in their email, that might be when they were born. And while it was fun to look for those clues at first, the task quickly got old, as soon as I had finished one list, another was given to me almost immediately. And that’s how I spent all of September and most of October.
It was mid-October when I finally met Mike Collier. I was in the office working on the lists and he came in, normally he was on the road campaigning, but he had a small break in between his trips and he stopped by the office. It was really cool to meet and talk to him. He is incredibly smart and always willing to listen when you want to talk to him. The coolest thing, to me at least, was getting to sit in and listen to him during his call time. I was with him for hours working on my list and him calling people and talking to them. He would get really lively and I could tell he really enjoyed talking to the people he would be representing, republican or democrat.
Towards the end of October, I was pulled off of doing lists, thankfully, and they had me making calls. So I spent most of my time that last half of October all the way up to election day calling hundreds of numbers and asking them if they had voted yet if they were okay with sharing who they had or were going to vote for, and the closest location to them to go vote. This was the first time I had ever gotten cursed out on the phone, which was incredibly funny to me as it’s something that you see on a satirical tv show, not real life.
On election day the finance team turned into the events team and we set up the watch “party” for Collier and the people that the campaign invited. Planning the event has got to be the best thing I did throughout the whole campaign, from getting the food, to changing lightbulbs to put the best ones in specific areas and seeing how to effectively run these, what are essentially networking events was incredible and its a skill I am glad to have worked on.
Even though we lost the experience was still incredibly rewarding. I learned a lot of new skills and polished off some others, but the most impactful thing was the networking, I met some amazing people and know that I can use them to continue my work in politics.


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