Bus Life: The Ladies Behind Lady Liberty
From LP News | Vol. 50, Issue 3 | Quarter 3, 2020
By Kate Prather • LP Texas
2020 has been quite a year, especially for campaigning, with there being no exceptions for our presidential candidate’s campaign. Conventions, petitioning, fundraising, event planning, and campaigning have all had to take very interesting and innovative approaches to achieve victory for our movement.
Regardless of the struggles, Libertarians get it done. We persist, driven by the passion for liberty. A silver lining to COVID is the bus. Since musical groups aren’t touring, the campaign got a great deal on Rumours, the name of the Jorgensen bus. When I was asked to write about life on the bus I jumped at the chance. I wanted everyone to get a glimpse of what it’s like. Some of you follow our adventures on social media, seeing the fantastic places we visit, the incredible people we meet and the opportunities we find that help us advance liberty everywhere. It looks glamorous, and it absolutely can be. People can assume it is exhausting, and they would be absolutely right.
How did I find myself on the bus with this job?
Purely by happenstance. I never sought after this position or applied. I am the treasurer for LPTexas. The other officers and I were in the middle of transitioning into our offices since COVID delayed our convention process, pushing back our elections. Then I got a call from Kathleen Stokes, the project manager for many of the bus tour stops, about Jo needing a makeup artist for the Texas and Oklahoma stops in August. I accepted, with the help of my husband and family. It was a temporary volunteer gig, and I loved every minute. I gave a hand at the fundraising pitch, helped coordinate volunteers where I was needed, and of course, did makeup for Jo. I went home exhilarated with the job I did. A week later I get a call from Jess Mears about a permanent stylist, road fundraiser, and event assistant gig on the bus. I had shown that I could wear multiple hats. It also helped that I was a member of the party, as other stylists were not, which I was told was significant due to the nature of living on the road and why we do what we do. Having a love for liberty helps drive you through the hard times. After speaking with my husband, children and parents, we were confident I could take on this job. Three weeks later I was flying to Boise to join the bus and her crew.
Meet the bus crew
Jo’s crew is an all-female staff, minus our bus driver Colby. The ringleader is Jess Mears. She is the LP’s membership manager and the deputy campaign director. I’m pretty sure she is also SuperGirl in her spare time. I mean, I’ve never seen them in the same place at the same time. Her duties include being Jo’s handler and directing every project while on the road. Her favorite thing is the “job fair”, a list of duties each individual on the bus should perform at every event. The job fair is dreaded by the rest of us (Sorry, Jess).
Need the best at logistics and a pristine plan in place to pull off these events day after day? Look no further than Kenna Porter, the campaign’s events director, one of the hardest working women I’ve ever known. These two ladies spend every second on calls and in meetings, when not directing the events and staff themselves, making sure this tour is successful. Neither of these women had a single moment to lay down in a bunk in 21 days, and if it hadn’t been for Justin (Kenna’s hunk) following us around for a few days, I’m certain Jess and Kenna would have eventually become joined at the hip.
This brings me to the only other lady on the crew, and isn’t a member of the party, our audio tech, Kendall Allard. A young, strong, and vibrant personality, Kendall makes sure Jo sounds incredible at every event. She orchestrates a plan for the volunteers to follow and literally sets the stage for our Mama Jo. Her curiosity about liberty and our movement helps give an outsider’s perspective to the message we deliver. Her questions and insights are refreshing and remind us why we push to educate the masses of an alternative to the duopoly.
Lastly, Colby, our bus driver, aka bus dad. He takes care of us and makes sure we get where we need to go, on time, and safe. This poor man must clean up a
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