Sadly, the election is long over. But I shook hands with one of these two today. I was at McDonald's on Highland Drive and Murray-Holladay Boulevard - not unusual for a Saturday mid-day as I was waiting for my boy in his drum lesson. I was using McD's free wi-fi while having my really bad lunch. Although you have to admit that endless Diet Coke for a buck is a pretty good deal.
I looked up and saw Sam Granato enter with some of his family. He had a bunch of kids with him that I assumed were grandchildren. One of the young boys was wearing a BYU t-shirt. I watched for a while as they got their order and Sam went all the way back into the play area to carry back a high chair for one of the youngest.
I had met Sam a couple of times at the Davis County and the State Democratic conventions. He was the Democratic Party candidate for Senator in 2010. He's a great guy - as should be evidenced by taking his grandkids to McD's and fetching the high chair. Solid Democratic Family Values. It was only slightly odd as his family runs an Italian food business including a popular deli chain. But my 14-year-old told me later that if his grandpa ran an Italian food place, he wouldn't want to eat "Italian" every day. Made sense. I planned to go up and say "hi" to Sam as I left. Then I thought, "What if that's not Sam Granato?" Realizing I had the internet at my fingertips, I quickly googled a picture (one of the above) and confirmed.
Sam was polite if a little surprised when I said, "Hi, Sam!" and reached out to shake his hand. I quickly introduced myself and told him that I had voted for him. He thanked me. As I headed out, I wondered how much of a fan base he has and if any other voters ever come up to him out of the blue. It's been hard the past few senatorial cycles to get elected as a Dem in Utah.
So I picked up my boy and told him I had seen Sam Granato. "Who?" Well, I was expecting that. I explained who he was and my boy asked how I knew what he looked like. I went through the story then pondered a bit and asked my son if he knew who beat Sam in the election and if he would recognize him at McD's. He didn't think so. I wonder how many people would recognize our Junior Senator if they saw him at McD's. Actually, I think it more likely to see somebody more down-to-earth like Sam there than a Republican Senator. Probably more interested in "tea" than Diet Coke anyway. Just saying.