Author and political consultant Douglas Patton visits Vail library, Feb. 1 | VailDaily.com

Author and political consultant Douglas Patton visits Vail library, Feb. 1

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VAIL — Vail Public Library welcomes Douglas J. Patton, author of "The White Guy in the Room: A Political Memoir," today at 5:30 p.m. "The White Guy in the Room" is the story of Patton's journey from a young, naive college student from rural Iowa, with little or no knowledge and understanding of African-American history and culture, to a key and seasoned political player in the empowerment of blacks in America.

Equally important, he offers an inside glimpse of the strategic roles of whites such as him in the civil rights movement. Patton, a lawyer, businessman and consultant, has a long and distinguished national and international career. He has been in private practice for more than 17 years; served as deputy mayor for planning and economic development for Washington, D.C.; owned a cable television company; and was a member of the board of both Century National Bank and Columbia National Bank.

Life in Politics

At 23, he began serving as a political consultant and advisor. He worked on more than 20 campaigns, beginning in 1964 with Iowa congressman John Culver. In 1968, he was Midwest state coordinator for Hubert Humphrey's presidential campaign. He went on to work for Patrick White in his 1969 city council race; Ed Mezvinskly's 1970 congressional run (and his 1972 House bid); Al Donahue for U.S. Senate in 1970; and Harold Hughes for President in 1971.

In 1972, Patton helped establish the consulting firm Allem, Hamilton, Patton, which advised, among others, Jay Rockefeller for governor, J.O. Patterson for Congress and Max Cleland for state Senate.

While working for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees as a political consultant in 1974, Patton advised on the Hugh Carey for governor campaign in New York and the Ella Grasso for governor campaign in Connecticut. He also advised on the Sen. Ed Muskie race in Maine in 1975. In 1978, he was a principal advisor to Marion Barry, who became the second elected mayor for Washington, D.C.

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As ex-officio representative from the U.S. House of Representatives on the Federal Election Commission for more than 18 years, Patton advised both Senate and House members on election law and ethics. Patton has a vast network that includes many of the country's local and national political leadership, who call on him from time to time for advice and assistance. Currently, he and his wife Nancy reside in Washington, D.C., and Vail. For more information, visit his website at http://www.douglasjpatton.com.

If you go …

What: “The White Guy in the Room: A Political Memoir,” by Douglas J. Patton.

When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Where: Vail Public Library, 292 W. Meadow Drive, Vail.

Cost: Free.

More information: Call 970-479-2187.