FALLON, Nev. (KOLO) Most candidates launch a statewide campaign by staging back-to-back press conferences in Reno and Las Vegas.
Jay Craddock began his two months ago at the Oregon border in the hamlet of McDermitt, then set out on foot to walk the length of Nevada all the way to Laughlin.
So far, he’s logged about 230 miles with 400 to go, walking about ten miles a day.
He’s taking the walking tour in stages, taking time out to jump in his campaign bus and zig zag around the state east to west.
We caught up with him on one of those detours. He’d just motored in from Austin to Fallon arriving in more conventional style in the bus. Once this detour is done, he’ll resume his north-south trek where he left off, somewhere just south of Austin in the Smoky Valley.
This approach sets him apart and he says it’s working well for him and is more than a gimmick.
“I’ve been here for 55 years, Ed, and I love this state. And there are things going on here that I need to know about. I want to know it all.”
The walk may be a signature effort, but the potential votes are at the stops in communities large and small. A chance to meet, listen and engage, sometimes individually, somettimes before groups as Wednesday at lunchtime at Fallon’s Senior Center.
“We mingle with the folks at the supermarket, at the stores, the gas stations. Hang out with people.”
He’s even been known to sing karaoke in some of the smaller stops.
“It brings them in and then I can talk with them.”
Whether this approach translates into eventual buzz and momentum remains to be seen, but a year before the 2018 race gets serious, this candidate and potential voters are listening and talking with each other and learning.
He’s says he’s lost a few pounds, had a blister or two and he may be a little foot sore at the end of the day.
He says people often stop on the roadway, make sure he’s OK and offer a ride. He says no thanks.
At the moment this retired fireman, first-time candidate, self-described conservative state’s rights Democrat says the days he’s spending out here on the road are time well spent.
“Doing it this way I’m doing it at grass roots level. I feel as though I’m making contact with real people.”
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