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What with the loss of NY-09, the mindless intransigence of our opponents and the daily meta storms that whirl across the orange screen day to day, it is easy to lose sight of why that screen was erected in the first place: more--and better--Democrats.

I know of one such, with a good shot at taking her race. With a little help from people who care about such things.

Madeline Rogero has dedicated decades to organizing and service. In the mid-1970s, she stood with United Farm Workers organizer Caesar Chavez for fair treatment of workers. She has worked with numerous public and private community development organizations, from Capital One's Community Affairs office and America's Promise to the University of Tennessee Community Partnership Center and the Coal Employment Project.

In 1990, she was elected to represent North Knoxville on the Knox County Council, re-elected four years later, then declined to run for a third term. The reason? No scandal, no "spend more time with" blah blah. No, it was because the voters had approved a term-limits law--that wasn't even in effect yet. She just felt that she should honor their desires, not hang on under a technicality.

A tireless advocate for strong neighborhoods, quality schools and better pay for teachers, Rogero was lauded by both supporters and sparring partners on the Council as prepared, passionate and professional.

It's not the only example of political opponents praising her competence and commitment to service. In 2003, she ran for mayor of Knoxville against incumbent Bill Haslam. Later, Haslam invited her to revamp the city's community development department, where she served four years focusing on community and small business development, fair housing and equal access to facilities and services for all the residents of Knoxville.

Now, she's running, and leading, the race for mayor. With a bit of help, she might even win without a runoff, so close is she to the magic fifty percent mark. Her chief opponent, an unabashedly "pro-business" type, is outspending her, dominating the airwaves during the early voting period.

For people who care about people--all people--Rogero is clearly the best choice to lead the Marble City as it continues its flowering as a great, livable and prosperous city.

It would be great to wrap up this race early, so that Rogero and her team can get about the business of planning and preparation for governing Knoxville. Do me a solid here. Check out the "Abouts" and "Issues" at her web site. If you agree that "Madeline for Mayor" is the best idea for the Valley and have a little jingling or folding to spare, send it her way.

Because we could all use better Democrats.

Originally posted to Crashing Vor on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 06:52 AM PDT.

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