Some of my fondest memories of working on the Paul campaign are from my first days on the job in Arlington. Kent and a couple others had just come back from a week in Iowa, while Lew and Ron were still there for the final week leading up to the straw poll. The office was half empty, but those who were there were hard at work. I, meanwhile, was trying to figure out where to start, having just moved down from Connecticut and still sleeping on a friend’s apartment floor out in Falls Church.
Like anyone immersed in new surroundings, I spent a lot of time that first week soaking in everything going on in the office, and in particular, the interactions between my new coworkers. But what I remember most about that time was how different the work environment was compared to that at my previous job.
That difference came from Kent Snyder. Kent went out of his way to make sure that I felt comfortable in Virginia, frequently checking in on how things were going. Most days, he’d take me out to lunch or dinner, and spend time explaining things that were going on in other areas of the campaign. And he did all this not because he had to, but because he cared.
I can’t ever recall a time when Kent asked me (or anyone else in the office) to do something without it being followed up with a sincere ‘thank you.’ I’m sure he never fully realized how his gentle nature affected people, but it did immensely. Kent was a diamond in the rough for whom kindness came naturally.
When I think back about Kent, this is the quality that I remember more than anything else. Sure, there was the calm, steady hand with which he guided the campaign. There was the fact that he worked for a salary that was way below market value. (He knew, as we all did, that Ron had far less name recognition and money than other candidates.) But Kent’s personal dedication to each and every staffer, to Ron, and to the ideas about which we all feel so passionate, was unparalleled.
While we’ll all remember him for different things, I will never forget Kent Snyder — the person — and how much he cared for those around him. If I can become just half the man that Kent Snyder was, I will gladly feel as though I’ve done the job that I was put here to do.
Rest in peace, Kent. You’re already sorely missed.