My Senator Leland fiction series, appearing here on the America blog from time to time, just added the fifth story, Win True — and we’re out in a print edition including this one and the previous four stories, centering on Susan Washington and Mike Loomis as well as Clay Rice and Lisa Kilgore. Here's the intro from that collection. Scroll down for ordering information and story links.
“Special duty.” That’s what George Leland said was moving him to step aside as the pastor at St. Barnabas and enter politics. It was early 2014. The state senator from West Hamilton was retiring, and Leland announced his candidacy.
“We’re still in the fight together," he told the congregation in a letter. “All God’s purposes that we’ve worked for are as strong in me as ever. But think of me for now as a soldier on special duty.
“Until the Kingdom comes, Americans need to do more to keep the Republic. That means some of us getting into the arena, and I sense the call. Can I count on your prayers?”
This would not be a crusade, Leland stressed, joking that he had promised his wife “no Bible quotes.” He hoped to serve in the manner of a Washington or a Lincoln, always living the faith, seldom speaking of it. If no one ever guessed he ran a church before he ran for office, that would suit George fine.
The heartland state where he’s now in his third year as a senator is probably much like your state, though with differences. While it is not named in these stories, we learn its capital is Hamilton, a small city on a big river. Its two major political parties are called Covenant and Service.
Leland had never affiliated with either until filing for the Covenant primary. “Parties have their place, but self-government is more about right vs. wrong than right vs. left,” he declared at his kickoff rally in Memorial Park.
Incisive or impractical? The rookie politician is learning which, bill by bill, as the legislative sausage machine grinds on. I invite you to follow the Leland stories and learn along with him. Join me as we walk the winding road with this citizen in public service — this American on duty.
Readers say… “Had me from page one” … “Required political reading”… “Parables for the soul”
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Leland Drawings by Benjamin Hummel