I first met Harry in 1989 at the Bernalillo County Democratic Party HQ. It was empty that fall afternoon, and we chatted. Before I knew it, he was interviewing me to work with him. That began a three year whirlwind of polling, canvassing, petitioning, sign ops, voter analysis, statewide campaign planning, media creation, media buying and crew supervision. Many times I felt like I was almost drowning, but Harry not only pushed, but supported my learning. In 1990 he took a total unknown person to within four points of defeating a well known member of the well known and loved King family.
He could make rain.
I never have known anyone else with as good a gut instinct about New Mexico politics and its waves and forces in its totality. I have never known anyone else who combined such gut instincts with mathematical precision, and coated it in a sweet glaze of passion and idealism. Many have one of these traits, some two, almost no one has all three. Harry was one.
The price for that excellence was an impatience for fools, nay-sayers, and those who just didn’t “get it”. He never held his tongue, and never really lied. Many times, that was his Achilles heel.
Harry and I worked well together off and on for 15 years. We worked many contracts. Helped each other. He taught me what I needed to know to become successful. I was his shield. It was a good pairing most of the time.
In his last years of life, he struggled with many health issues. Many times he could barely get out of bed or walk much…..until campaign season came along. His passion for dedicated political field operations brought the lion back each time. Even as his body weakened, his spirit never faltered.
He ….NEVER….. gave….. up.
“And some day, in the mist of time, when they asked me if I knew you, I’ll smile and say you were a friend of mine. And the sadness will be lifted from my eyes. Oh when I’m old and wise.” – – Alan Parsons Project “Old and Wise”