Roy Romer Is Alive and Well and Living in California  

by Helen Williams

 Excerpt from the book:

Scott Chase

Deputy Campaign Manager, 1994 Gubernatorial Race

This is one of those stories I will never forget – it just shows how good and genuine the Governor was. Alan Salazar was campaign manager, Mike Stratton was the general consultant, and we had the opportunity to observe the nearest thing to political perfection we’d ever seen.

In the 1994 campaign I staffed Romer and, after a rally at the University of Colorado, walked the governor to the car so he could avoid being harassed by people afterwards. I dutifully escorted him out of the University Memorial Center and was promptly shadowed by a person. As Romer took a cell call before getting into his car, the person stepped forward to ask a question, at which time I tried to intervene, saying, "May I help you? The governor has to get to his next appointment.”

Romer, without my knowing it, ended his call, stepped away from the car, and warmly greeted the person. The constituent asked if Romer had time for a question and Romer said he did. The person then drew out a driver's license and said, "Governor, do you see the little box in the corner of the driver's license that indicates ‘female’ or ‘male’?”

Romer said, "Yes."

The person (of indeterminate gender) then said, "Well, Governor, what box do you check if you are not sure whether you are male or female?"

Romer, the innocent boy from Holly now grown into a 60-plus year old man serving as governor, furrowed his brow. I was wondering how in the hell this seasoned politician was going to answer a question he'd never conceivably been briefed on. Romer thought for a minute and said, "Listen, friend, one of the things my administration has done is to make it easier for people to get driver's licenses at shopping malls and other places close to where they live, you know?" The person nodded. "And you can go to these kiosks we've set up in malls and the driver's licenses can be turned around in only a few hours, you know?" The person nodded. "You can make address changes and update your driver's license whenever you need to." The person nodded. "Well," Romer went on, "Here's what you just check whatever box you feel like at the time, and if that changes, just head on back to the kiosk.."

Satisfied that he'd handled a difficult question with a practical solution, Romer smiled, shook the person’s hand and got in his car.



 Order by Mail