I can't imagine that many people outside of western Nebraska have heard of Scott Kleeb. He works on a ranch in western Nebraska. But apparently he grew up in Italy and recently finished his PhD at Yale on the history of cattle ranches. A gypsy cowboy Democrat - Hallelujah!
And he came very close to becoming Nebraska's 3rd District Representative. He would have been the first Democrat to represent the 3rd District in over 50 years. A few days before the election, I had the dramatic realization that if Kleeb won, I would be truly proud - for the first time IN MY LIFE - of the person representing me in Washington. I can't help wishing that I'd paid attention to the local races earlier, so that I could now feel like I'd done all that I could to help get Kleeb elected.
Here is a link to Scott Kleeb's Declaration of Independence (from special interest groups).
I guess local politics are a deeper level of really living in a place - a level that I hadn't really gotten to until I heard about Kleeb. And the fact that a candidate I was really excited about was nearly elected makes me wonder if I have more in common with the folks I call neighbors now, than I had thought. Perhaps I'm not such a liberal outlier around here, afterall.