Zach Bruhnke contacted me about putting something in our candidate forum about his father, Dana Bruhnke, who is a candidate for mayor of Shreveport.
I can think of no better recommendation for a man than the article that he sent me.
Candidate Goes the “Extra Mile”: Does Not Talk About it
As October nears the political “jawing” is now in full swing. We have candidates
sparring over fliers, rallies and the like. What we don’t have however is a reason
to vote for many of the candidates in this election. Some people will criticize me
for writing this article as a blatant attempt to gain recognition simply because my
father is a candidate in this race. That could not be further from the truth. I am
a lifelong resident of the City of Shreveport (Although I did leave briefly to New
Orleans for about 9 months) and I have been an avid follower of politics and current
events from a young age. Typically I take an active role in any election, this election
however proved increasingly more difficult than usual. It was a typical Thursday
afternoon in July for me, I was busy and going about my day trying to get all the
jobs completed I had on the agenda when suddenly I got a phone call from my Dad.
This was typical. After all, we do work together, however it would be anything but a
typical conversation. He needed me to go take some material to a customer because
he “had to go downtown” at first I just said yes sir and went on my merry way of
thinking trying to figure out how I would fit this into the schedule when it suddenly
hit me. “Why would Dad have to go downtown?” I have customers down there but
typically he does not. Next was the question that changed my life at least for the
next few months. “Where are you going downtown?” His answer came as a shock to
me. “To the Courthouse, I am qualifying for the Mayor’s race.”
Dana Bruhnke is an Air Force brat. He has seven siblings, each of them dropped off
at the age of 18 to make it on their own no matter what city or state they lived in. By
the grace of God my dad was dropped off in Shreveport in 1979 when he turned 18
while his dad was stationed at Barksdale AFB. He met my mother a few years later
and they began the family in which I would become the youngest child. My dad was
what most kids dream of in a father. In all my life I can count the number of games
or events that he missed of mine on two hands, and almost assuredly if he was
not there my mom was. He is not a typical politician and certainly not the typical
Mayoral candidate for our city, but I hope you will listen to why I think he will be the
best choice on the ballot Saturday October 2nd.
He is a business-minded man. He has owned or managed a local company since
1980. He quickly settled into a job when he arrived to Shreveport and quickly began
moving up the chain of command with his hard work and dedicated attitude. I have
no doubt he will bring that same hard work and dedicated attitude to the City of
He believes in doing business with local companies. And he will fight to make sure
local businesses get the city government contracts that all to often go to out of state
contractors. He believes that our tax dollars spent on projects in our community
should help local people and local companies.
He has been a part of a number or Organizations over the past 30 years in
Shreveport, serving as President of the Brookwood Athletic Association he proved
that the organization could be managed properly and money could be left in the
bank. In three years time he took Brookwood from an organization in danger of
failing to a thriving entity with over $40,000 in the bank and new uniforms on the
backs of nearly all 40 teams the organization provided for. Because of his efforts
many children today still get to enjoy the benefits of a great organization like
A no non-sense approach to problems in this city is exactly what we need. I grew
up with a respect for my Dad, not a fear of him. However I knew that if he had to be
firm he had no problem reminding me that I was out of line. He has constantly stood
up to violence and fought back against theft in his own life. When I was 9 years old
someone stole all of my baseball equipment out of the back of his truck. Dad went
out and bought new equipment for me, but I did research and found out who the
thieves were. When he called the police and they refused to confront the thieves
Dad got in his truck and drove to their home demanding the equipment back, and he
got it. When I was in high school and someone stole my tailgate while my truck was
parked at Independence stadium for a football game the police dept. told me they
were sorry, Dad and I found out who stole it, went to his house and again demanded
the tail gate back, we got it.
When it came to my decision to go to high school, I made a conscious decision to
go to Huntington instead of Byrd or Captain Shreve. Despite the negative rumors
my parents had heard about the school they allowed me to attend. To this day Jerry
Davis (the Principal) still knows my Dad by name because of all the things he did
to help Huntington become a better place. It was not just money or time donated, it
was the willingness to go the extra mile and help out at fundraisers and events for
the school and in and around the neighborhood, which was recognized by the HHS
faculty and staff.
When I chose to attend Centenary College of Louisiana Dad was proud that I chose
to stay in my hometown to attend college, however he got right back to helping the
community I was not a part of. Caddo Magnet High School (which me, nor any of my
siblings attended) contacted him about helping to get their softball field completed
(A field which is on City Property). When Dad contacted the Mayor’s office Cedric
Glover returned his call almost immediately and told him that his assistant would
assist Dad with completing the field. Unfortunately Mayor Glover’s assistant became
frustrated with Dad’s persistence in calling and trying to get the field completed
before softball season began so the girls would have a field to play on. When the
calls to Glover’s assistant went unanswered Dad mobilized and went about calling
the vendors he works with on a daily basis attempting to get donations for the
project and called upon other friends he had in the business to get the fence put up
and the field ready for play. He did not stop there however, the girls did not have
a coach and after speaking with the Principal he agreed to go to the state and get
certified with the LHSAA to become a coach of the softball team even though he had
no child on the team.
These stories are just examples of one man going the extra mile for a variety of
people. Some of them he raised and some of them he barely knew it all. He did not
do it for fame and he certainly did not do it for fortune. He simply did it because he
felt it was the right thing to do. In fact, had I not published this letter the only people
who knew most of the stories would be the ones who he directly affected.
Dana Bruhnke is truly a good man who is running for Mayor of Shreveport not
because he needs a job or because he wants the spotlight, but because he knows he
is capable of making a difference, and changing the lives of the people one act at a
time. I am writing this article about him simply because he is too humble to mention
these accolades on his own, and I hope you will read it with an open mind about a
man who would like your vote.
I hope that when you go to the polls on October 2nd you will consider casting your
vote for a man who does things not because he is told to, but because they are right.
And a man that does not care about the neighborhood you live in or the color of your
skin. I am here to tell you, that man is Dana Bruhnke.