Congressman Jim Ramstad and his wife, Kathryn, are longtime family friends. At the beginning of my campaign, Jim, my grandfather, my dad, and I had lunch together at Bacio in Minnetonka, where we discussed my campaign among other topics. During our conversation, I asked Jim if I could use his name publicly as a supporter of my campaign. He responded, “you can use my name if you think it will help you, although I don’t know how much good it’ll do.”
Since that time, Jim and I have been in regular contact with one another, and he has been encouraging of my campaign’s progress. Indeed, I was able to find two voicemails on my cell phone from Jim with campaign suggestions and encouraging words. At no time throughout my campaign have I been under the impression that Jim was not publicly supporting me – until yesterday.
After reading initial tweets regarding Jim’s alleged non-endorsement, I spoke with Jim at length. It was then, for the first time in a campaign that began December 18, 2013, that I learned that Jim hadn’t meant to give me the impression of a formal endorsement, but instead his words were meant “sarcastically.”
Our campaign has taken appropriate steps to eliminate the misunderstanding: we have removed Jim’s name from our website and all newly distributed materials. I have also apologized to Jim for misinterpreting his words and actions.
This experience served as a valuable lesson: no matter how close the family and personal relationship may be, it is critical to get endorsements in writing.