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In Campaign 2014, what would Bruce do?

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By Sherry Robinson

 

One of the wonders of the political world was the late Gov. Bruce King. When he worked a room, no hand went unshaken and he remembered everybody’s name.

Now that his son Gary, the Democratic candidate for governor, is the target of a fire hose of ugly ads, I can’t help but wonder what Bruce would do.

In his autobiography, “Cowboy in the Roundhouse: A Political Life” (as told to Charles Poling), King described his campaigns and his campaign philosophy. Reading it now makes you pine for those gentler, kinder times.

In 1970, Bruce didn’t use any paid political consultants and had no one in the campaign from outside the state. His opponent in the primary, Hobbs businessman Jack Daniels, “ran a more high-tech campaign,” monitored the opinion polls closely and spent more money, King wrote, “whereas we just did it on hard work and having friends all over the state. We built our grassroots support, literally going person to person in every little town.”

Campaigning with him were Alice and sons Bill and Gary. People liked Bruce; they loved Alice.


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