Campaign workers getting message out: Denholm
Member of former Gov. Hayden’s team, Denholm continues to put up campaign signs in retirement
Tonganoxie resident Harold Denholm didn’t have political signs in his front yard for many years. Oh, he had opinions, but he couldn’t express his endorsements with political signs because, for several years, he was a rural carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. Working for the government prohibits one from such displays.
After he retired in 1985, though, Denholm got involved with Mike Hayden’s campaign for Kansas governor, a race Hayden won.
Since then, he’s been involved in campaigns and political forums.
“I usually don’t do anything in the morning, and rest in the afternoon, so I work some of this into my busy schedule,” Denholm said with a chuckle.
Denholm, who will turn 80 on St. Patrick’s Day, said he currently is working to get Lynn Jenkins elected and Pat Roberts and Roger Pine re-elected.
A longtime member of Tonganoxie VFW Post 9271, Denholm helps out fellow VFW member Larry Meadows with those campaigns.
In addition, Denholm organizes candidate forums and legislative coffees at the VFW Post Home with co-sponsor First State Bank and Trust. The next forum for local candidates will be 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at VFW Hall, 910 E. First St. in Tonganoxie.
As a lifelong Republican, Denholm has followed politics. But, he said, he’s not happy with how the party has changed, noting that Kansas has elected Democrats to various positions in recent years: two Democratic governors (Joan Finney and Kathleen Sebelius), a Democrat for attorney general (Paul Morrison), and two more to Congress (Dennis Moore and Nancy Boyda).
Morrison actually was a Republican who switched parties to run against incumbent Phill Kline.
“The Republican party is probably the biggest campaign managers the Democrats have in Kansas,” Denholm quipped.
Denholm elaborated about some of the current leadership.
“They call it the conservative religious right, but it’s mostly pro-life people,” Denholm said.
He went on to say: “Any single-issue person is bad news and that’s all they seem to be in charge of or working for.
“I’m probably as pro-life as anyone, but I don’t think it should be in the legislation.”
Denholm was a state legislative officer in 1996-97 with the VFW. He lobbied for the veterans license plate and “finally got it through,” he said.
He’s been quite involved with politics and government, but Denholm said he takes it all in stride.
“I don’t get real excited about it, because what happens, happens,” he said. “But I like to follow these people. Sometimes after these people get elected, the story kind of changes once they vote in the capitol and what actually happens.”