Don’t Knock, He’s Dead

Primary election night, and I had nowhere to go. Ordinarily not a big deal, except I was a candidate, and candidates always have somewhere to be, somewhere their supporters are gathering in anticipation to shake their hand and celebrate.

In the galaxy of campaigns, I was the ring, not the Saturn. But for a year, I was in the orbit of a rollicking, free-for-all, 10-candidate race that one observer called a “three-ring dontknockfront-cover_6283732circus,” complete with carpetbaggers, doctors, a governor’s speechwriter, a disbarred attorney and a legendary senator’s daughter. The race was an education in politics’ exhilaration and disillusion, its meaningfulness and corruption.

Don’t Knock, He’s Dead: A Longshot Candidate Gets Schooled in the Unseemly Underbelly of American Campaign Politics takes readers into the trenches of my longshot bid for Maryland delegate, with no political machine, in the dog-eat-dog, incestuous, narcissistic world of politics. It’s the unvarnished story of an under-funded, Everyman’s challenge to break into a Byzantine, sycophantic business, where cozy relationships, cronyism, influence, backroom deals, power plays and horse-trading rule the day and politicians consolidate their power to form a perpetual ruling class.