« It looks like our prayer has been answered, » Gietzen told the New York Times. “We would have liked to do it a different way, though. We now have thousands of people badmouthing us, refusing to donate, telling us our website has encouraged us to donate.”
Mr. Gietzen was born February 9, 1954 and raised in Glen Ullin, ND, a small town near Bismarck. His father was involved in the state’s nascent anti-abortion movement.
He served in the Marines and, in the late 1970s, earned a degree in aircraft maintenance from Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in Tulsa, Okla, then moved to Wichita to work for Boeing.
He was a frequent unsuccessful candidate in local elections, including for mayor of Wichita.
He was the single parent of three children. Information about survivors was not immediately available.
The 2004 book, « What’s the Problem with Kansas? », which examined the rise of populist conservatism in the state, portrayed Mr. Gietzen as a symbol of some of the forces driving former liberal Americans to repudiate the Party Democratic.
« Gietzen was building a social movement, one convert at a time, » wrote the author, Thomas Frank. “It is common on the left to hear descriptions of the backlash as a strictly top-down affair in which Republican charmers round up a demographically dwindling sector of the population for one last, weary ride. What Wichita Republicans have accomplished, however, should forever debunk this myth. They shouted their combat creed to all the city’s residents, sharpening differences, polarizing the electorate, making everyone aware of what was at stake ».
Mr. Frank continued, “Gietzen and company wanted not only Wichita’s votes but her participation as well. They were going to change the world. »