In fact, throughout this campaign, I have never seen Jon Runyan flinch. He is a well-grounded man who knows who he is -- someone who pursues goals clearly and steadily,
In more ways than one, this man is solid. And that builds confidence and brings out the best in others. To me, these are the marks of a leader.
Jon Runyan told me that he thinks that incumbent Congressman John Adler wants to talk about anything but the imbroglio surrounding the Adler campaign's alleged involvement in placing a fake Tea Party candidate on the ballott to siphon off votes from Runyon.
"He's trying to cover up on a lie that has been created," Runyan said. "He doesn't want to answer questions about this. He dismisses it." And Runyan said that he believes Adler "knows his campaign manager was involved" in the alleged scheme.
Runyan said he feels the trickery and the subsequent stonewalling are "an insult to the voters."
I asked Runyan how much of an impact the fake candidate incident is having on the election.
Runyan told me that Adler wants to pretend that the affair isn't a factor. "But this whole thing is actually turning a lot of people off" [to Adler], he added.
"This is a backhanded way to try to win an election," Runyan said. "And there's a huge amount of arrogance involved here."
I also asked Jon Runyan how he would answer Washington pundits and others who say he has "underperformed" in his race against Adler.
"Maybe they see me that way because I'm an outsider," Runyan answered. "But I can tell you that I'm giving it everything I'm got. For the past two months, it's been nothing but 14 to 16 hour days for me. It's fun but it's a lot of hard work."
Speaking just like the former pro-football standout that he is, Runyan added: "If they want to judge performance, let's judge it after everything's said and done and we see who's won or lost."
Runyan said his campaign and his volunteer team are also working very hard. "People have been wonderful. Volunteer numbers and volunteer enthusiasm are huge," he explained. "We've got a whole group of people making phone calls right now just in the Mt. Laurel (Burlington County) office and that's going on every day."
Runyan also said he expects a big election day showing out of Ocean County where he has campaigned extensively. "People there are very fired up," he noted.
I asked Runyan if he expected any "October surprises" from the Adler camp. "Well, it's been very negative, very dirty, very personal," he answered. "I don't put anything past them. But, we're ready."
Like I said, Runyan is remarkably calm and focused.
He's not easily distracted from his goal. He's determined to be elected.
After my conversation with Jon Runyan, I read a somewhat laudatory profile piece on John Adler in the Philadelphia Inquirer. However, the reader comments that followed the story were largely negative.
Here's what one reader wrote:
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