Havre de Grace resident back from being on Obama campaign trail

With the 2012 presidential election over, there won't any more political commercials, debates or signs on lawns — at least, for a while.

What Marylanders don't see much of, mainly because the state typically goes Democratic in elections, is regular citizens on the campaign trail, going door-to-door, talking with residents and working to get out the vote.

That's exactly what Kevin Racine, a Havre de Grace resident and long-time political activist, did in Virginia.

Racine, 47, has worked on local and national elections for more than 30 years and was called by the Obama campaign to help in the neighboring state.

"It was a lot of fun," he said. Racine started in Baltimore briefly the day before the election before heading to Lynchburg, Va., and Norfolk with a group of four citizens. "When someone calls you and says we want you to go on the road with us, it's an unreal feeling."

The main message the four people went to homes with, he continued, was to "get out to vote."

The campaigners, however, were told specific things they were looking for in each community beyond voting, such as the economy, creating jobs and how to get information for assistance on home mortgages. In talking to people, Racine heard a lot about how getting back to work was key.

"It was very unique to me to see the level and intensity of how we were able to come together," Racine said. Part of that working together included standing in the rain in Norfolk as people went to the polls on Election Day.

When the news came that President Obama was re-elected, Racine was in a hotel room with his fellow campaigners.

"I was happy that I was not only experiencing it [the news], but being a part of history," he said.

In four years, Racine, who is also with the Democratic National Committee, said he would be more than happy to go back on the campaign trail for the next Democratic presidential candidate.

What he took away from the experience, though, had nothing to do with politics.

"You go and you learn," Racine said. "You learn about the [democratic] process, you learn about people and you learn how you can take care of them."

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad