This could simply be inexperience talking, but I would think that being Steve Sojka’s opponent would make me uneasy after seeing the turn-out for the campaign event this evening at Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley. This town has a lot of Steve Sojka supporters, a fraction of whom appeared in person tonight to show their support.
While the event took place at the gorgeous property owned by David Sapperstein, it was hosted by Mayor Paul Miller. Mayor Miller introduced Steve Sojka by expressing his support for his campaign and recapping his history with Sojka. When it came time to appoint someone to replace Bill Davis when he was elected Mayor, Steve Sojka was our choice, Miller said, citing his many years of community service and his passion for all things Simi Valley.
Mayor Miller was by no means a lone supporter at this event. As I walked around snapping pictures, I listened in on people chatting about their experiences with Steve Sojka, on various community centric organizations including Rotary, the Simi Valley Police Foundation, as well as Simi Valley youth sports. Business owners like this candidate, parents and their kids like this candidate, people of all walks of life like this candidate, and they were all represented tonight.
Steve Sojka thinks my first experience with him was at a Chamber of Commerce event where he expressed his dissatisfaction with a video I produced that included a message against the annual budget for the Shop Simi Valley First campaign. In actuality, my first experience with Steve Sojka was when he sold my boss an ad with coupons in the Money Mailer for a small video rental shop called Video Super Shop. The ad worked… very well. We were flooded with people who wanted their $4.99 coupon only price on previously viewed video cassettes. I cursed Steve silently for making us so busy. As an 18 and 19 year old who wasn’t a business owner, I didn’t quite appreciate how good advertising made good business — I just really disliked long lines and mad rushes apparently! I mention this because there’s a lot of focus on Steve Sojka’s community service, a critical factor in an election for Mayor of course, but he’s also been a Simi Valley businessman (and a good one) for many years.
Steve Sojka’s supporters showed their love in many ways tonight. Some showed it in the form of kind words and interesting conversations about their experiences with him. Others showed it by contributing significantly to the catering of the event (both food and beverages were entirely covered, and it was quite a spread). And some showed their support by simply showing up, listening to the brief presentations, and going home with their Steve Sojka for Mayor bumper stickers.
I saw a lot of supporters tonight. Without a doubt, this will be a competitive race.
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