I plan to blog throughout my run for Cuyahoga County Council District 7. ?Of course, the regularity will be spotty, but I find that blogging clears a lot of cobwebs out of my head, and that value increases as I get further into being an actual candidate. ?I also plan to be totally transparent during this campaign, and blogging will be a part of that.

First, the update. ?It’s early. ?Real early. ?After a few weeks of running around and introducing myself, I’ve learned that no one really knows what this council position means, is, or that it even exists. ?I’m constantly explaining to people ward boundaries, district boundaries, how Issue 6 created the seat, etc. ?I had initially thought I wanted to file right away, but now, with the filing deadline in June, the seat being a total blank slate, and a May primary in between, the urgency of filing for a September election seems a bit artificial. ?So I’m focusing on building a good campaign infrastructure for now, reaching out to leaders, activists, and voters in the community.

The Facebook group grows all the time, but it’s no substitute for a campaign website, which I’m hoping we can get up and running soon. ? We’ve scheduled a shoot for the video announcement, which of course will be on Youtube. ?Setting up online fundraising is taking a little more time than I thought – lots of T’s to cross and I’s to dot. ?The campaign account is running, make checks payable to “Friends of Tim Russo”. ?We plan to launch it all at once together, so sit tight. ?I’m writing about the campaign quite a bit in the Independent, and will continue to do so as long as James can tolerate it! ?I’ve got a piece in the queue for March that’ll make some very big waves.

Transitioning from sharp elbowed blogger dude to candidate….well….that’s going to be a process! ?As most of you know, my use of profanity is positively Rahm Emanuel-ian, that has to change. ?I’m learning to bite my tongue when I engage with someone or on a topic that I want to instinctively argue – as a candidate, you have to save your big punches for the fights that really matter. ?I’m also finding that I constantly look back to my work with Tim Ryan, because that’s the kind of candidate I want to be.

For example, Tim & I always preferred being in a room with average voters than in a room with party leaders. ?Most pols prefer the hob nobbing with the big shots, because the intrigue and deal making is so…well…intriguing. ?I still instinctively understand the game playing, and find myself getting sucked in. ?But once I get sucked in, very rapidly, I’ll conclude that it’s a waste of time. ?Keeping all that intrigue organized in your mind is incredibly exhausting. ?More importantly, though, I don’t really want to be “one of the boys”, or play their game, or make deals, or scratch backs, largely because no one ever keeps their deals with me. ?My deal is going to be with my voters, so that’s where I want to be.

Oh…almost forgot the big news! ?Some of you will remember my old blog, Democracy Guy, where I published the manuscript of my time in Armenia. ?Well, a couple supporters have been on me for years to self publish the thing as a book. ?Looks like the time has come – it’s a good book to have with you on the campaign trail, because it’s autobiographical, and details the kind of county councilor I’m gonna be. ?So stay tuned, Democracy Guy is about to be in print form!

Fasten your seatbelts, this is going to be one hell of a ride.