Starting Your Political Campaign Off the Right Way

Local campaignBy Paul R Turner –

When trying to decide which political office you want to run for, think of your eventual campaign message. You’ll want to make sure that you go for the office you are good at. Some public offices are administrative, where your ability to handle staff and serve the public is the major criterion. Are you good at paperwork? Can you handle subordinates?

Others are more legislative, like alderman or councilwoman, where the main function is to listen to competing interests and make policy choices. Are you good at listening to people? Can you make a decision and stick with it?

Do you have the time to do what is involved in the office? Many offices are part time, but with all of the meetings, conferences and consultations they are quite demanding. Evaluate yourself and answer important questions about your professional qualifications.

You should also think about getting a physical checkup before you decide to run a political campaign for office. Campaigning is often a grueling, exhausting effort. President Bill Clinton talked himself hoarse in the last days of his campaign in 1992 and had to cut back on speeches in 1996. Poor Bob Dole looked terrible as election day drew near.

Of course they were out there campaigning every day, but the only real difference between their race and yours is that in a local contest, the distance between two campaign stops is shorter. You will be working every day too, and it is hard work to boot.

When you have asked yourself the difficult questions, and found out all you can about the duties of the office, and learned about all the official and unofficial qualifications, then ask yourself: would I vote for me? If the answer is yes, then you must have some reason why. Get those reasons straight in your head. It’s the first step in your campaign, but you’ll get that question over and over as you campaign.

If you know what you’re after, and why you can do the job, then it will come across to the voters.

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