Steve Kaurman: My friend, Bob

To the editor:

I first met Bob Rankin in 2000. I had been thinking about starting an education non-profit and was interested in meeting community leaders who were demonstrating a similar interest in public education.

My inquiries led me to a group of technologically oriented people who were investigating the possibility of putting computers in the hands of those whose families were not able to afford them.

The leader of this group was Bob Rankin; the non-profit that was ultimately formed was Computers for Kids, C4K. C4K was a great success. Students and adults worked together to gather, refurbish, distribute and recycle old computers and provide Internet access to those in need.

Over the years I have come to know Bob well. His life and work history tell the story of a hardworking, dedicated, and determined man who strives to be the best at whatever he does.

Bob grew up in southern Mississippi. He graduated from Mississippi State with an engineering degree, served four years in the US Army, and went on to a distinguished career as an aerospace and computer industry executive. He started two small businesses in the Roaring Fork Valley and is currently CEO of wildernet.com, an outdoor recreation site, and peakware.com, a site for the mountain climbers; just what you might expect of an outdoor sports and recreation enthusiast.

I’m writing this letter in response to a disturbing national trend and some local letters to the editor which exhibit the same harmful and unproductive tendency, that of attacking a person’s character and motivations rather than their political solutions to problems we all agree exist and share a common interest in solving.

Bob has been attacked as being unfit to serve because of the purchase price of his home, the size of his property, the geographical make-up of his supporters, the groups which support him, the “world” he comes from and his supposed failure to understand our rural way of life.

Comments such as these serve none of us well. They serve only to obscure the issues and diminish the likelihood of good people being able to come together to solve pressing problems.

The people of District 57 are fortunate to have a man of the character and capabilities of Bob Rankin running for public office. When elected he will do as he has always done: serve with energy, compassion and determination to succeed at what he sets out to accomplish.

Steve Kaurman

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