Tuesday's election wasn't just about Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. All across the country, candidates battled for positions in state and local governments. One of this year's biggest stars was Democrat Colleen Lachowicz, who won a seat on the state Senate in Maine.
But the road to victory wasn't easy. Lachowicz found herself thrust into the national spotlight earlier this year when her opponent, Republican Sen. Thomas Martin, created a website that criticized Lachowicz for participating in the online role-playing game World of Warcraft. Martin's website featured comments made by Lachowicz, including, "So I'm a level 68 orc rogue girl. That means I stab things ... a lot. Who would have thought that a peace-lovin', social worker and democrat would enjoy that?!"
Martin's unorthodox attack backfired almost immediately. Instead of people being turned off by Lachowicz's online persona, donations from fellow gamers flooded in. The Bangor Daily News reports that sympathetic gamers from around the world made "more than $6,300 in contributions via the website ActBlue to two political action committees that supported her campaign."
After her victory, Lachowicz's Facebook page was flooded with congratulatory messages from World of Warcraft players. "As an out-of-state Rift and former WoW player I can't say I approve of your gaming platform. But congrats on your senate victory," one person wrote. Another said, "Congratz, Senator! Watch out for Nelf Rogues!" A fan from France wrote, "A small step for the gamer, a giant leap for the gaming community ! cheers from Versailles."
Finally, a fan named Ken Hall posted this: "No matter what your party is Colleen, we need more Politicians like you. Most would try to cover up who they were, to paint a perfect picture if light of what the largest percentage of what the voters feel is normal. You were yourself, put it all out there and won as you should."