Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Outgoing District 6 Councilman Sam Doré lost badly on Oct. 22. He couldn’t be more thrilled. By Walter Pierce
It seemed last Tuesday on the patio at Legends on Bertrand Drive as City-Parish Councilman Sam Doré endorsed District 6 hopeful Jared Doise, that Doré wasn’t so much passing the baton to the candidate he hopes will succeed him on the council as he was tossing a hot potato to the nearest shmuck. I don’t mean that Doise is a shmuck, but it was clear that Doré was relieved to begin disburdening himself of the councilman’s mantle, which had become more of an albatross during his truncated term on the council.
I had an advantage in this observation: I learned of the impending endorsement from a source and had spoken to the councilman on Monday before the announcement at Legends. He made it clear then that being a politician wasn’t exactly a rewarding experience. It sucked, in fact, and it was festooned with ribbons on Oct. 22 when Doré came in third among the three candidates in the District 6 primary. He was the only incumbent to be bounced from office and arguably not the most deserving of the ignominy.
“The Saturday night [of the election] I didn’t know what to think; it was six months culminating in that event,” he recalled on Monday. “But when I woke up Sunday morning and realized it was over for good, that I didn’t have to, A) campaign any more and, B), I didn’t even have to show up anymore, it was the best feeling I’ve had in four years, and I’m telling you every day that goes by it’s sinking in more and more how happy I am. What a relief it is.”
Sam Doré is a poster child for being careful what you wish for. He wanted to be on the City-Parish Council. Badly. Then he was on the City-Parish Council and he hated it.
He ran in 2007 as a Democrat against incumbent Bruce Conque, coming in a distant second in a three-man field with 35 percent of the vote. Conque cruised to re-election without a runoff, generating 57 percent. But about a year later Conque resigned to take a job with the chamber. Doré had his opening. He switched to Republican and in April 2009 ran first among three candidates in a special election. A month later he beat Max Jordan in the runoff to secure his seat on the CPC.
Doré is a nice guy, and he clearly underestimated how thankless a councilman’s job can be.
Five months after the runoff this newspaper gave him a D — the lowest grade awarded among the nine councilmen — in a cover story grading each pol’s performance. We referred to Doré as “the least engaged” and observed, presciently, that “[h]e doesn’t seem thrilled with governing.” Welcome to politics, Sam.
The relief of concluding this 2.5-year ride on the council was evident in his voice when we spoke by phone before the Doise endorsement.
“Have you ever had a close person to you die and you’re all shook up about it, but each day that goes by it gets a little better?” he asked rhetorically. “That’s what I’m feeling like: I’m a little happier each day and the further it gets back in my memory that happier I get.”
In working out the timing for his endorsement, Doré was kind enough to impart a hard-earned lesson to the would-be politician: “I had this talk with Jared. I told him I hope you win because I know you want it really bad. But as a friend I hope you lose, dude, cause it’s not good, it’s not fun, it’s not honorable, it’s not public service and all the other things you think it is.
“All it is is rotten, and nobody appreciates anything you do. It is not a thankful job. It’s just not a fun thing at all; your whole family suffers, everybody around you suffers, you turn into an ugly person — I know I did. I turned from a happy person to an unhappy person, and now I’m happy again.”
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