Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Independent candidate Drew Curtis gets a low vote total but has a high-spirited event on election night

By Lauren Allen
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Drew Curtis announced the beginning of his book and the end of his race for governor in a dimly lit Lexington bar surrounded by Mason jars and purple souvenirs, celebrating his first political campaign Tuesday night in apparently the best way he knows how.

With all of the celebratory cheering and drinking going on at the Chase Brewing Co., an outsider would never have known that this candidate received less than 4 percent of the vote.

Heather Curtis laughs as her husband talks on a fark.com podcast.
With him was his wife and running mate, Heather Curtis, who wasn’t so sure about this position when he first proposed the idea. “When we started out, we were fighting a lot,” she said, because he was a little naive. When her husband realized that he needed to have better ideas, not just opinions, she decided to join him.

As much as the couple kept their children out of the race, their middle one would still say “I wanna watch the Drew Curtis for Governor show” whenever he saw Daddy on TV, Heather Curtis said.

Drew Curtis comes with a pack of loyal supporters who say they value his work ethics and morals.

Virgil Edwards is a registered Republican, but said he strongly supports, and voted for, Curtis won him over because he was the only candidate who would answer his questions.

He said Curtis answered any question he had, while Democrat Jack Conway never responded to his emails and Republican Matt Bevin outright told Edwards that his questions way not be worth his time.

Edwards, a senior at Eastern Kentucky University, said he voted for Curtis because “he represents a change to the status quo.”

Curtis's supporters may not miss him for long. He said he is writing a book about the race, already partially published on wired.com.

Curtis’ biggest fans may be his staff. Communications Director Heather Chapman said “Working for Drew has pretty much spoiled me for any other candidate.”

Dressed in an American-flag suit, campaign manager Andrew Sowders said his favorite moment of the campaign, the fourth he’s worked on, was the turnaround when he saw Curtis “start to believe in himself and what he is doing.”

From the beginning, Curtis did things differently than the typical politician, which was a big part of the appeal to his campaign manager, who is now looking for a job as fulfilling as his current one.

Friends were out supporting the independent candidate at the event as much as his staff and supporters. One was Jason Falls, a long-time friend who believes independent candidates are moving up in the polls because Americans are getting tired of the two-party system. Falls said he supported Curtis from the start because he knows he would not sell out to special interest groups.

Spirits were high throughout the night, even as Curtis's percentage of the vote stayed quite low. He said that if he were to ever join the world of politics again, “It would have to be [for an] executive” position like governor.

He said none of his personal money was lost in the campaign because he never spent much more than the $75,000 that he raised.

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