Wayne Seybold is one of 7 Republicans running for Congress in the 5th District. He’s the only one, however, who is campaigning on rollerblades. Seybold is a politician but he used to an Olympic figure skater. He’s found a way to combine the two in a unique approach to one-on-one campaigning.
Today he was rollerblading through Broad Ripple in seach of voters. “I did this when I first ran for Mayor,” he said as he rolled down the street, “and learned alot about the local community and that’s what we want to do here.”
Seybold is now in his third term as the the mayor of Marion and he’s hoping that he can be the Congressman who replaces Dan Burton in the 5th District. Reminding voters of his Olympic experience in 1988 when he competed along with his sister Natalie is one way raise his profile.
As in skating, Seybold is aware that others will decide how good he is at his new profession. “In my past,” he says, “9 people decided your fate and, in this, hopefully 100,000 or more will decide the fate.”
And so he wheels up on some of them one at a time. “I’m Wayne Seybold,” he told a man walking along 61st Street. ” I’m running for Congress in the 5th district, just out rollerblading the neighborhoods, meeting people, saying hello.”
“Sounds like a good idea,” said the man who took a copy of Seybold’s campaign brochure.
Seybold also says he’s trying to avoid the negative campaiging pursued by some of his opponents. He finds a skating tie in that, too. “You know there was a time when Tonya Harding thought, well, I can’t beat Nancy so I’ll just get someone to hit her in the knee,” he says. “You know, I’d rather win because we’re the best choice and we have the best message.”
Whether it’s the best message or not, the delivery method is hard to copy. Seybold plans to rollerblade through 35 different communities before the May 8th primary election.
And, for the record, he’s looking for a better finish than he achieved in the Olympics where he didn’t get a medal.