The Democrat running in Springfield's 136th district gives you an inside look at the day-to-day life of a 28-year-old underdog trying to unseat an entrenched Republican incumbent on his campaign website . . . http://electowen.com/
James Owen talks about his door-to-door campaigning in explicit detail that satisfies any political junkie's appetite.
He tells many stories:
How some kids thought he might be a burglar when he was just trying to give their mother a campaign leaflet. How he wrestled with whether to bother residents with campaigning on a holiday. How he won over a Republican just by taking the time to talk with him. How he made it a point to talk with anyone with a pro-Democratic or anti-Republican sticker on their car.
It's all on Owen's political blog -- which is the most intriguing part of his campaign website. It's worth checking out, no matter what your political persuasion. Just for the pure politics of it, the raw struggles Owen writes about inside of his head . . . it's captivating reading. And you may just learn something about a politician who's so young and inexperienced, he hasn't been sucked in by consultants on what to say or how to say it . . . at least just yet.
On his home page, Owen talks about a leadership crisis in Jefferson City. A lawyer and part-time Drury University teacher, Owen lists memberships in the National Rifle Association and Chamber of Commerce. He also notes he has "a strong respect for life, from the womb to the golden years."
MESSAGE TO REPUBLICANS: Don't even try to pin me as an out-of-touch liberal. I'm a church-goin', gun-holdin', pro-life Democrat! Take that!
On the issues, there is nothing specific -- which is a let down after the enriching blog entries. But Owen's site is snazzy, sophisticated and candid. He admits he's the underdog in a district he believes is "sharply divided down the middle." The eastern part of the 136th leans Democrat, while the western part leans Republican, according to Owen. He acknowledges he'll have to work hard to change that to unseat Rep. B.J. Marsh.
But political insiders on both sides of the aisle respect Owen's hard work. It's difficult to say if he's got a shot in a district where Marsh had no opponent back in 2004. But he sure is working harder than most of the other candidates, according to the politicos I've talked with.
"B.J. will end up doing o.k.," said one Greene County Republican, who supports Marsh. "But (Owen) is working hard, real hard. And we're not going to ignore him."
After many different Google searches, I couldn't find campaign websites for either incumbent B.J. Marsh or his G.O.P. primary opponent Bob Vanaman.
But on Owen's site, hardcore supporters can even get James Owen gear. And the stuff isn't bad. The colors and designs actually look cool if it didn't have a legislative candidate's name on it (Kidding, kind of).
Got a pit bull that can't get enough of Owen? A James Owen dog shirt runs $14.99.
I'm wondering how much of this stuff he's selling . . . to non-relatives, that is.
CORRECTION: A previous quote here from Nora Walcott was actually referring to #139 candidate Jamie Schoolcraft. It was mistakenly listed in my notebook under the Owen section, but she was actually talking about Schoolcraft. Although Walcott does note that Owen has been on mission trips and has a strong religious conviction.But it was my bad.