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"[Norman is] a preacher, so you would assume he's a nice guy," said Sherwood Smith, president of the firefighters' political action committee. Informed that Norman hadn't been a preacher since 1990 and instead had a gay counseling practice, Smith said, "I didn't know that." But, he supposed, that wouldn't be much different from "if he were a counselor of criminals. Anyone who reaches out to help others would be good."
"We're interested in what Terry's thoughts on labor are," said Jackson County legislator and party host Bill Petrie. "The gay issue is a moot point." Petrie didn't seem inspired to use Norman's candidacy to build bridges between labor and gays. "Most of our members have friends and family, are open-minded and treat other people decently," he allowed, suggesting that some of his builders might know someone gay. (God forbid any of them might be gay.) But, he said, "the construction crowd's traditionally a man's world."
Terry Norman comes from a man's world, too, just not the one Petrie's familiar with. No matter. Norman is mastering the lowest common denominator in politics: appearing to be all things to all people.