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I have never felt passionate about any particular political candidate, certainly not passionate enough to go door-knocking for one of them … until this past Saturday. Representative Al Doty is running for re-election in District 12B in Minnesota and I really, really, really want him to win. He’s been an excellent Representative for the district – intelligent, thoughtful about the issues, continually talking with and listening to constituents, and willing to compromise while also doing what he can for the district.

He’s a DFLer. That’s the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which is apparently only a Minnesota thing. (Leave it to Minnesotans to do things differently.) The party is affiliated with the national Democratic Party. Even though he’s a DFL candidate, he doesn’t toe some severe party line. Contrary to popular belief, some voters like their politicians to think for themselves rather than follow a strict ideology handed down from on-high.

Erik and I have written a couple of letters in support of Al during this election season and we have one of his signs in our yard. (We had one the last time he was running, too.) While we’re comfortable with letter-writing, we weren’t so sure about door-knocking. We agreed to do a tag-along with a seasoned door-knocker last Saturday.

The group of door-knockers gathered in the parking lot of a local business. We were given instructions on what to say and a brochure to hand out, then we headed to a section of town to get started. We followed C.A., our guide into the world of political door-knocking. She had some tips for us. If a yard had signs for the opposing party, we could skip the house because we knew where the owner’s vote was going to go. It takes a certain commitment to a candidate to put up a yard sign.

Similarly, we could skip the houses that were displaying Al Doty signs. (Although, I suppose we could have stopped if we needed moral support.) Mostly, we were trying to talk to undecided voters and those who didn’t have information (or correct information) about Al.

While the idea of knocking on strangers’ doors was scary, C.A. made it seem easy and we met pleasant people who were receptive to what we had to say. Even if they didn’t seem to support Al, they were polite, which allayed my fears. I’m not sure I could do door-knocking by myself, but as part of a team, it was a great deal of fun.

If you live in District 12B and need more info about Al, check out his website: http://aldoty.com/. His home phone number (his home number!) is listed in case you have any questions about his legislative record, where he stands on issues, or if you need any kind of assistance wherein a legislator might be able to help.

Al is very approachable and wants to hear from the people he represents. In fact, he was one of the door-knockers Saturday. Cool, eh?