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The last time I wrote a diary to update you on my campaign for Rensselaer County Legislature (upstate NY, east of Albany), I was waiting for word on whether or not I had  managed to hold onto the Working Families Party line in the face of Republican shenanigans.

I did win the line by one vote. Sadly, my fellow Democratic candidates who were also endorsed by the WFP were not as lucky.

The Rensselaer County Republicans have been trying to take over the WFP line just as they have taken over the Conservative and Independence lines in the past. With so few people registered WFP, it doesn't take many Republicans to change their registration and win primaries with write-in and absentee votes.

While it may make sense for the Republicans to align themselves with Conservatives, they have nothing in common with the values of the WFP, so their reason for hijacking the line is to deny voters the choice of the party's endorsed candidates.

That was then, this is now.

Fellow Democratic candidate Flora Fasoldt and I have been hitting the doors for the better part of the last few weeks. I have been going door-to-door for years as a volunteer and it is the part of campaigning I like the most -- getting to meet people and finding out how I (or the candidate I was volunteering for could help make their lives a little better.

There is a huge difference between being a candidate and being a volunteer -- as a candidate you can't stop and take a breath. You can't call up headquarters and tell them your back hurts or you want to hit a movie that night. As the candidate, you have to be out there as much as you can every day.

Today we went to an Oktoberfest event at Goold's Orchard in Schodack and did some door-to-door afterwards, also stopping into a tiny local church that was having an ice cream social.

The congregation is few dozen, mostly elderly people. They told Flora and me about how the town was overcharging them for a new sewer and water system, making them pay the equivalent of two residences.

The church building is used once a week for Sunday service for less than 20 people, so they figure it cost them about $10 a flush at the current pricing.

It was then, in this tiny church which was struggling to keep its doors open for its few remaining congregants, that the reason I am running became crystal clear, again.

Someone has to stand up for the little guy. Someone has to speak for those whose voices are ignored, in this case by entrenched Republican rulers at the town and county levels.

As we move day-by-day to Election Day, please remember there are people who want to wage big battles for small victories -- people like me and Flora and my friends who are running for town supervisor and town board.

If you can help me with a DONATION please do, because I share your values and am fighting the good fight in a corner of Rensselaer County.

Originally posted to Linda Underwood on Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 05:15 PM PDT.

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