AUGUSTA, MICH. -- There's no Mike Huckabee office in Barry County, but there is Jim Sprague.
Sprague's got 6,500 names, and now he's just "trying to get them out to people that I know," recruiting about half-dozen people so far to contact everyone on the call list that he received from the Huckabee campaign. He signed up as a volunteer for Huckabee a few weeks ago but was finally contacted Friday.
Sprague, who signed up online, is unpaid and has never worked on a campaign before but he's more than willing to help.
"I taught government for several years. I'm a retired schoolteacher, so I've always been interested in politics," he said. "And so this is something I've always looked forward to doing, and I have a candidate I really believe in."
Even though Huckabee has only been in the state for a handful of days, Sprague has been able to keep up with Huckabee by watching the debates
This morning, he and his wife Jennifer drove from Middleville, about 40 miles north of here, to hear Mike Huckabee's 8:30 am speech.
Also at the event: Ken Nuorala, who's a lifelong Democrat but an occassional defector to the Republicans. Nuorala is "on the fence" about who he's going to vote for tomorrow. With the half-hearted Democratic primary on the horizon tomorrow, Nuorala is scanning the Republican field and made the half-mile trek from his home to see Huckabee.
"I think McCain's odds in Michigan are good. I think, he - in my opinion - represents some of the old politics," said Nuorala.
"Personally I'm one for breaking the partisanship that's going on in this country. I firmly believe that Michigan's recession is as much due to partisan bickering as it is to globalization and the demise of some of the industrial aspects of Michigan - you know, the auto industry. And frankly, that's one of the nice things I agreed with Mike Huckabee about."
Nuorala took an early retirement from the pharmaceutical company at which he worked for more than 25 years. He said, "like a lot of people last couple of years," a buyout of his company meant "there was a big push to get rid of duplication between the two companies, so there were a lot of people who were let go...Eventually...my job was moved to New Jersey and I had the option of going to New Jersey. Went out and explored the option but chose not to."
He had time to drop by because he works the afternoon lab shift at the Veterans Affairs hospital, where he works to supplement his retirement.