McKinley's put plenty of time into this crusade--but then, he didn't have much else he could give. "You could say this is a no-budget campaign. We don't have any money problems--because we don't have any money," he observes with a twang that might not play in Peoria but goes over well in Prowers County.
How well, though, he won't know until November. This week he's gathering the petitions he's scattered across the district, checking to see if he's collected enough signatures to satisfy a Secretary of State's office that's been particularly persnickety this election season. (McKinley's wife was at the John Deere dealership in Lamar on Monday, trying to nab a few more names--until an employee said that one of the owners, a certain incumbent governor, doesn't allow petitions in the place.) And next Tuesday McKinley will ride Marvin into Denver and exchange those petitions for a spot on the ballot as an independent.
That's the only party he wants to be part of.
"Every time you get a group of people together and you tell them you're unaffiliated, a third will say that they're independent, too. They're proud of it," McKinley says. "The other two-thirds don't volunteer their affiliation. They don't act like they're proud of their party like the independents are.