How to Run for City Council – Get A Grip

How to run for city council

NYC City Councilman Christine Quinn – I just like this pic of her. She doesn’t actually look much like this in real life.

Running for city council is a lot like running for any other office…and yet different.  If you know nothing about political campaigning and this city council run is your first foray into the election process, keep on reading – I’ll walk you through the steps of designing a successful campaign over the course of the next few days/weeks.

Get A Grip On Your Mindset

There are a few different approaches to framing a political campaign and it’s very important that you choose the right one in order to create a winning ‘tone’ for your campaign communications.  Keep in mind, this isn’t about why or how you’re trying running.  You may seriously hate the guy currently representing your city council district, and want nothing more than to beat the pants off him in an election, but you can’t write a great, winning campaign plan with in that state of mind.

You need to approach this city council race in a way the voters can relate to it.  Every elected office has its own flavor.  You have to identify the flavor of yours, and go with it, at least on the surface.  This will be a key piece of putting together your campaign message. Think about it this way:  If you were running for mayor or governor or some other executive branch office, you would basically be auditioning to be the star in a one-man show.  Think about the presidential nomination process.  On both sides, candidates are selling their own life/personality/résumé, and making campaign promises like they can just wave their hand and make all your dreams come true (some of them really believe it, too).

Running for a state or congressional representative seat is a different story.  In these campaigns we see more of an “us” verses “them” mentality, and candidates running at this level tend to plan their campaigns like they’re running to be Team Captain for “Our Team.”  Imagine campaign slogans like “Joe Smith Will Fight for You” and “Jane Johnson Leads Us to Prosperity.”  These are the types of campaign messages that play well for representative elections.

Running for city council is a different animal all together.  In this scenario, you’re simply a freshman at tryouts, hoping you make JV and not even dreaming about varsity.  You just want to play the game.  No one expects their city councilperson to be argumentative, pushy or divisive.  They envision a city council full of ‘team players’ working together in very droll, drawn-out meetings to determine if this building or that one should be re-zoned.  Using a campaign message that suggests you’re a ‘fighter’ or ‘the leader’ is not going to fit with that picture in the voters’ heads (whether the picture is accurate or not is irrelevant).

Does that mean you have to run your campaign like you’re simply a follower?  No!  Pick some important city issues and promise to give them a voice (and keep that promise) – but do it in a manner that tells the voter you’re running to do your part so the whole team to win, not just you. Now go brainstorm some campaign slogans for your city council race!

Bracing Yourself to Lose – 9 Reasons You May Be Destined to Lose Your Political Campaign

Losing a political campaign isn't always bad

I know, it’s not the most upbeat way to start out your campaign journey, but preparing yourself in the chance that you should lose your political race is quite possibly the most critical step in the early part of the process of running for office.  So here are some thought jump-starters to help you come to terms with the idea that God may be calling you to lose this election…and that’s totally okay.

  • You could be running to shine light on an important issue that’s currently in the dark. Palin’s VP candidacy forced Americans to think about pro-life issues in a whole new way.  Between her daughter’s teen pregnancy and her own Down Syndrome baby, her run for the vice presidency really forced people to consider issues that, while they’ve been an undercurrent in today’s society, had never before held a national spotlight.  Maybe there’s something about you, your family, or your platform that your community desperately needs to ponder, but until now they haven’t had the chance.
  • Your campaign could be about forcing your opponent to deal with specific issues he would otherwise evade.  I generally advise against focusing on your opponent instead of yourself in a campaign, but sometimes there are things that just can’t be left unsaid.  Maybe it’s an incumbent flagrantly abusing his elected office, or maybe your opponent has a horrible voting record on a particular critical issue, like education, that must be brought to light.  Even if you don’t win, your opponent will still have to deal with the public’s new awareness to such issues.
  • You may be on the campaign trail to meet new people who will change the course of your life.  Those people may have something to do with your political campaign, or not.  They may take an active role in your world for many years to come, or may just be a blip on the radar.  Maybe it’s campaign volunteer, or a prominent community leader who’s put their faith in your campaign, or someone who doesn’t even live in your district that read about you in the paper.  Maybe it’s even just one brief conversation with someone whose name you won’t remember that changes you.
  • Just like you may meet someone that changes your life on the road to elected office, you may also be the person who inspires others.  Maybe you’ll never even know it.  Or maybe thirty years from now you’ll be casting your own vote for the kid who filed papers in your campaign office after school twice a week.  You just never know.
  • Campaigns bring out the best and the worst in people, and you’ll be no exception.  You may find that you learn something about yourself you never would have known without this experience, and hopefully it’s something that changes you for the better.
  • Maybe you’re being tested.  It happened to Job, right?  I can’t find any real evidence that God actually puts people ‘to the test’ with overwhelming challenges just for the purpose of testing them, so likely there’s a deeper reason you’re being pushed to your limits.  Figure out what it is, and deal with it appropriately.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…right?
  • This is probably the only truly strategic reason it’s okay to lose that I have for you.  Even if you don’t win a run for state representative, being in a higher profile race will increase your name recognition in case you choose to run for mayor or city council in an overlapping district next year.  And taking a look at your election results will give you a good idea of where you actually won, and help you choose a district that better suits your political strengths for your next run.
  • It could be you’re just not meant to win yet.  I mean…Abraham Lincoln has an incredibly intriguing political history, full of wins, losses and lots of setbacks which led to him being president at exactly the time United States of America launched into full-blown crisis mode.  Coincidence?  I think not.
  • Even in a losing campaign, you’ll gain real-world experience managing a team, running a ‘business,’ handling complicated finances, working with a variety of personalities–all skills that will come in handy in whatever career field your ‘real’ job is.  Embrace those lessons and put them to good use.

Now don’t get me wrong–I don’t expect you to watch unfavorable election results rolling in with a big smile on your face or anything.  It’s fine to be sad, to be disappointed in a loss.  What’s not fine is letting it eat you up inside.  If you are a person that struggles with rejection and failure, losing a political election–having the voting public essentially tell you they don’t want you–would be a devastating blow from which you may never fully recover.  That’s why it is so incredibly important that you are sure you can handle losing should that be your fate.

So what does it mean to be prepared to lose?  It means starting with the end in mind–and I don’t just mean the end of this election cycle.  Make a promise to yourself to be true to your convictions, always to be mindful of how you affect others, and keep yourself open to new people and new ideas.  Know that there are so many possible outcomes that are better than winning.

It’s January – 5 Things You Should Be Doing Right Now

Running a campaign in the new year

Happy New Year!

Welcome to a brand new election cycle.  Even though the national media has already completely blown off the 2014 elections in favor of covering the eating habits of every potential 2016 presidential candidate in the country, here at GOP Campaigner we care more about who’s running for town council.  And with that in mind, I’ve decided to start the new year with a post that will hopefully get you focused on your goal for 2014 – winning your political campaign!

So what should you be doing right now?

  1. Decide.  I mean really decide.  Get introspective, and deep, and truly determine whether you’re ready for this monumental challenge.  How to do this?  Here are some questions you need to answer for yourself:
    • Why do I want to run for office?
    • Do I want to be mayor/city councilman/state representative because I really want the job?  Or is it because I don’t like how the incumbent does it now? (Hint: Running just to unseat a jerk is not a good reason!)
    • What do I want to accomplish in this elected position?  What issues are important to me?
    • Is my family prepared for a run for office?  Remember, it’s not just your life that will be in upheaval.  Your wife and children will definitely be affected, and will suffer if you don’t prepare.
    • Finally, search your heart.  Sit in silence in some peaceful, spiritual place, and just wait.  Do you feel excited at the prospect of running a campaign, like you’re starting a great adventure?  Or do you feel apprehensive about your ability to handle the attention, the work, the upheaval?
    • Is your spouse on board?  Because it’s never worth it if you don’t have full spousal support. 
  1. Mentally prepare yourself for losing.  Yes, you could lose.  That’s always a possibility, even in races that seem a sure bet.  So make sure you’re emotionally capable of handling a loss.  Too many candidates put their whole self worth into the voters hands on election day and let me tell you, the voters do not care about your ego.
  2. Consult the family.  This is the time for scheduling out the important parts of your life so that later you can schedule campaigning around your family life, instead of the other way around.  All too often soccer games and dance recitals and supporting your wife’s interests and hobbies are an afterthought, after you’ve already set up a campaign schedule that dominates your evenings and weekends.  If you’re in a stage of life where you’re raising a growing family, they should always come first.  Always.  The voters will forget about you by December, whether you win or lose.  Your kids will never forget that you missed their biggest events of the year.
  3. Figure out your one big reason.  When someone says, “Why are you running for county commissioner?”  You should have a simple, heartfelt, one-sentence response that lines up with both your values and the community’s needs.  It needs to be genuine, not strategic.  It needs to be specific, not vague.  Make it universal and personal at the same time.  You’ll know it when you find it.
  4. Paperwork.  You’ll have to go to the courthouse or voter registration office in your town (or county seat) and file documentation stating that you intend to run for elected office.  You’ll also have to open up a business bank account for your campaign.  Now before you go running to the city building to sign up, you should know that it’s not always in your best interest to file on the very first day.  There are plenty of reasons you may want to wait and file as late as possible.  Usually, however, just making sure you get the paperwork done in a timely manner is good enough.  This is the first official step you’ll take as a candidate for elected office.
Here’s some further reading to help you through this process:

That’s pretty much it for now.  Don’t worry about talking to voters, getting the media’s attention, or pulling your campaign team together for recurring meetings.  It’s way too early for that.  Enjoy the rest of January, because when spring rolls around, the crazy starts, and it only grows from there until you’re barreling into November at break-neck speeds.  Now is the time for a calm, peaceful, family-filled start to the new year.

5 Great Posts About Running for Office

political campaigning articles

Good Reads.

I’ve seen other bloggers do these ’round up’ thingies, and since I read a lot of good stuff, I figure I ought to do one as well, so that you, too, can benefit from the work of others that are out there keepin’ it real (or whatever).  So here goes!

The Art of Manliness

This blog is totally awesome in its own right.  It is exactly what it says it is: a blog devoted to helping men be manly.  And it just so happens they covered manliness in the form of running for political office.

Morton Blackwell’s 45 Laws for Political Campaigns

I wrote this post when I first started this blog because at the time these laws weren’t available anywhere else I could find online.  And they are gold.  Read the 45 Laws for Political Campaigns.

 The Strenuous Life

I’m a liar already.  This isn’t actually a post.  It’s a speech given by Teddy Roosevelt about embracing the struggles in life and becoming stronger through them.  This speech is just one out of a handful collected in a book by the same title.  Many run along political themes and are excellent reads for anyone, but most especially for the political candidate.  Read the rest of them here.

 Abe Lincoln’s Response to Political Smear

Also not a post (sorry, y’all, there just aren’t a whole lot of other good campaigner/bloggers out there).  This, however, is the very first recorded Republican “Oh, snap!” or “Oh, no he didn’t!” moment, written by none other than the founder of our Grand Old Party.  Check out how Honest Abe responded to a back-handed attempt at mud-slinging, and take notes.  This is how it’s done, people!

 Candidate College: Tips for Running for Office

You’ll quickly realize that this post is very urban-campaign centered, but that doesn’t mean the principles can’t be applied anywhere.  In fact, it’s a heck of a lot easier in suburbia that in the cities.  So read Candidate College’s 10 Tips for Running for Office.  It’ll do you good.

What Is God’s Role in Politics?

Gods Role in Politics Republican Democrat Cross Elephant Donkey

Since it’s Sunday, I thought I’d get up on my pulpit and do a little preaching.

Earlier this election cycle, there were several talking heads and political writers that poked fun at all the GOP presidential candidates who believed they were ‘called by God’ to run for president.  Why would God be calling all  these people to run for president when only one can win?  And the vast majority of Americans, like the mainstream media, laughed off the idea, relegating it to the fairy tale or ghost story category.

But what if God really is calling you to run for office?  And what if your opponents really do feel they’re being called, too?

This is why one of the very first steps in my Campaign Planbook is to pray about the decision to run for office, and to talk about it with your spouse.  God says to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Thes 5:17).  This is even more important when you are putting yourself and your family under the public microscope.  Every action an elected official takes directly affects many other people – in some cases, the whole nation.  Of course God wants to be involved!

Now here’s the hard part.  If you’ve given yourself time to interpret God’s will and you’ve decided to become a candidate, you must resign to the possibility that God may be calling you to lose this election.  Every candidacy has a purpose.  Maybe your real purpose for running is simply to be a voice for an otherwise voiceless minority, like the unborn.  Maybe your candidacy will play a pivotal role in the outcome of a completely different race on the ballot.  Maybe the reason you’re called to run has nothing to do with politics at all, and simply serves as a catalyst to change the direction of your life.  Like most things with faith, you won’t know the real reason God is calling you to run for office until long after the campaign ends.

There are a lot of political-types on both sides of the aisle that firmly believe in the separation of Church and State – to such a strong degree that they check their moral compass at the Capitol Building door.  This has led to a significant divergence from the founding fathers’ intent for our nation.  The original purpose of the First Amendment was to protect religious groups from the government – today it’s being used to shield the government’s immoralities from its Judeo-Christian constituencies.

If you are one of God’s chosen winners this election cycle, make a commitment to take Him with you for every vote.  Don’t compromise your principles to keep your political career.  You certainly can’t take it with you.

And if you lose in November, try to keep your spirits high, your heart open and ‘give thanks in all things’ (1 Thes 5:18).

How to Form Your ‘Inner Circle’ When Running for Public Office

Your inner circle is a group of close friends and family that you bring into the discussion very early in the decision-making process when you are considering a run for public office.  These are folks whose opinions you hold in high regard.  They don’t have to be in the district you plan to run in, or even in the same state, but they need to be close to you in an emotional or spiritual sense.  Obviously they need to be people who care about you and want the best for you, and want to see you fulfill your calling in life, whatever that may be.

Your inner circle should be limited to about 4 or 5 people other than yourself.  Luckily, most of the decisions will be easy.  One important note before we start – these 5 people should not also be your top 5 volunteers/staff.  The purpose of the inner circle is to be representatives of common sense in the interest of the greater good and of your personal well-being, not representatives of what’s best for the campaign.  That’s not to say they can’t be involved in the campaign side of things, but that isn’t their primary role.  Remember, these are the people you talk to about running before you even decide whether or not you’re going to.  They should be people with whom you have deep, meaningful relationships that can’t be shaken by political disagreements or power struggles.

Here are my recommendations/qualifications for filling this group.  Feel free to tweak as necessary.

  1. Your spouse (or a serious significant other).  This one is mandatory (unless of course you’re single).  You could also include your grown child that you trust.
  2. Your best friend or close sibling.  And when I say ‘best friend’ I mean someone who knows the twisted story about how you got that suspicious scar, or someone you want in the delivery room with you, or someone who was there 20 years ago when you got that ridiculous tattoo you now go to great lengths to hide.
  3. The person you would choose as your campaign manager.  Most likely this is someone who is politically minded, perhaps already involved deeply in local politics, and hopefully someone you definitely trust.  I know I said your inner circle shouldn’t be campaign people, but this is the one exception, because this person needs to be able to step back and get a bird’s eye view of things when necessary.  They may be the only person present to pull you back from the edge of a precipice at some point in the campaign.
  4. A pastor or other spiritual leader type that you are close to and trust.

Politics And Parenting – Are They Mutually Exclusive?

I recently read this Washington Post article about Rick Santorum and his daughter Bella that compares his parenting situation to Sarah Palin’s and analyzes the media reaction to both.  It’s a good read, especially for a parent of young or handicapped children, and it certainly gives a candidate pause when thinking about his own campaign.

One of the most important factors to consider when deciding to run for office is the effect it will have on your family.  Your children will see a lot less of you (especially hard for daddy’s girls and mama’s boys) and your spouse will have to pick up a lot of slack, and you may have to lean on extended family to help fill the gap as well.  And as the above mentioned article points out, dealing with family issues while standing in the media limelight can be a tricky game to play for both mothers and fathers.

So how do you decide if running for office is right for your family?

  1. First and foremost, talk to them.  Even your smallest children should be in on the discussion.  Explain to them what running office will mean to them and why you want to run.
  2. Make them a part of the campaign.  Presidential candidates may be walking a tightrope with this one, but you don’t have to.  By all means have your kids with you when you go door-to-door or to public events.  Chances are they’ll love the activity and the attention, and real voters (not journalists and political commentators) will identify with you as being down-to-earth and real.  Bringing your family along says ‘hey, I’m a parent, I know what it’s like to want the best for my kids – I want the best for yours, too.’
  3. Set up a support network, both within the campaign and within your family.  There are going to be sick days, dance recitals, and other special circumstances.  There are also going to be evening debates, candidate meet & greets and Lincoln Day dinners.  Enlist your children’s godparent to be that special someone in your stead for a few family things, and tap your campaign staff and supporters to speak on your behalf at the Republican Women’s Club Luncheon.  Be sure to talk to these people well in advance of the campaign and make certain they know how important they are in your support system.
  4. Be completely honest with your constituents.  If you can’t someplace for family reasons, say so.  Voters will understand.  They really will.
  5. Build in some spa time for your spouse periodically to relieve the extra stress you’re putting on them.  Since my husband’s much more likely than I am to be a candidate again I thought I’d throw that one in.  But it’s a good idea, right?

Warning:  Tangential Rant Below

The Rick Santorum article mentions this Post article by Sally Quinn, who writes the thinly veiled left-leaning “On Faith” blog, where posed this somewhat naive question shortly after Sarah Palin was chosen as McCain’s running mate, “When the phone rings at three in the morning and one of her children is really sick what choice will she make?”

I hate idiot rhetorical ultimatum questions like this.  It makes me want to answer them.

When your kid is sick and the phone rings at 3 a.m. with Putin or Cameron on the other line, you do the same thing you would if you crashed at midnight after a 20 hour workday and your kid wakes up with a nightmare:  You get your butt out of bed and deal with the monsters.  

Or at least Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum would.  I doubt I can say the same for Sally Everything-Is-Black-And-White Quinn.

Back to Parenting and Politics

Despite what the television wants you to think, campaigning and parenting are actually quite symbiotic.  You’re showing your children how to lead by example.  You’re teaching them core principles by living them, voicing them, and hopefully protecting them with your vote in office.  You’re teaching them the importance of serving, giving back, and supporting your community and the democratic process.  Your children will potentially gain loads more from the experience of tagging along on the campaign trail than they could ever lose.

Running for Office 101 – Advice for College Students Looking for A Political Career

political science major run for office campaign

I majored in Political Science.  During that time, and often in conversations since, I’ve met people who chose to study Political Science or Law purely because they want to run for office – some day…hopefully.  These college kids honestly don’t plan to run until they have gray hair and 2.6 kids in middle school, and yet they are attempting to major in it.

Is this freaking hilarious to anyone else?  The naiveté required to even invent the concept that you can somehow educate your way into a successful political career is beyond laughable.  It’s like Caddy Shack comical.

I guess the thinking goes: I will study Political Science, then I will know all the secrets to winning, then I can spend the next 15-20 years building my biography/resume with impressive, candidate-worthy credentials, and then I will run for office – although I have no idea which office – and I will win, because 20 years ago I learned all the secrets.

First off, if you’re a college student looking to go this route – don’t.  Political Science is a science.  It really has very little to do with the art of running and winning campaigns.  If you don’t like statistics, or law, or history, steer clear of this major all together and study something that will make you money for the next 10-20 years.  Seriously people, this is what higher education is for.

Secondly, never, ever, “plan” to run for office before you know the following:

  • What office do I want to pursue?
  • Why?
  • What district am I running in?
I hate, hate, hate the concept of planning a career as a politician.  A career in politics, sure – maybe you start as a legislative aid and work your way up to being someone’s chief of staff in a stuffy office somewhere, or you run campaigns like me and help other people win.  That’s totally a valid career goal, because that’s the type of job you apply for, interview for, and some HR person agrees to pay you to do.  Being an elected official, on the other hand, is a volunteer service.  You have thousands of people judging you, mostly not even glancing at your bio and resume, and it is at the whim of the public mood at the particular moment that you run that you are given the chance to work like crazy for very little money trying to make all the people happy all of the time.
If you are a young person considering becoming an elected official, there are a couple of ways to go about it that make a ton more sense than majoring in a field of study you aren’t actually interested in and don’t really understand:
  1. Go ahead and run.  Now.  Elected officials should be people who care about their district, the people in their district and the issues affecting those people and that district.  That’s it.  That’s all the credentials you need to run for and win public office.  Well, it helps if you’re charismatic with a sparkling personality – no college course can teach you that.
    If you really care about something and you really think that serving in public office is the way to make a difference, there is no law that says you can’t run for office this very election cycle.  There is no education requirement at all.
  2. Shelf the political career, pursue a real career.  No, I don’t mean forever, just for now.  If the idea pops into your head, ‘hey, I’d like to be Congressman someday,’ just tuck it away in your memory vault and think about what you can do now to make a positive impact in the world.  Make it something you care about, something you’re good at, and something you understand and love to do.  If you build a life doing what you are passionate about, you will naturally evolve into a great candidate who is true to the people around him and to himself.  Then, when you really know the answers to those three questions above and are truly fired up about running for office, that’s when you run.

I didn’t learn how to win campaigns in the classes I took in college.  I learned that by working on and then running campaigns while I was still in college, being involved in the county Republican Party and watching the news and reading, reading, reading about campaigning.  In fact, I probably would have been closer to the mark studying leadership or business management if I wanted to ‘study’ how to run political campaigns.  I majored in Political Science because I was fascinated with political theory, international law, history, and even political statistics (though I really hate math).  If those are things that float your boat as well, then hey, go for it!  Maybe I’ll be teaching your class someday.  But if not, major in something else.

Buy the campaign planbook

To Poll Or Not To Poll?

Political-Polls

Yay, we're happier! But honestly, who cares?

Is it really even a question?  I’m always floored every time I see it, and yet nearly every ‘intro to political campaigning’ book I read suggests that the candidate do extensive polling before even deciding to run.

It’s ridiculous, and here’s why.

  1. If you’re reading a Dummies Guide to political campaigning, you’re a first-time candidate running for something like city council, not Congress or governor or some seat that would actually really necessitate paying someone to do a real poll before you even decide to run.  Sometimes the authors of these books take themselves way to seriously.  Speaking from experience, I can tell you, it is just not that complicated to run for local office.
  2. Also if you’re a first-time candidate, you have no money for polling anyway.  No, you can’t spend your own personal money.  Yes, it would be a complete waste of campaign funds as well because…
  3. The poll is only going to confirm what you already know:
    1. The general party breakdown of your district (47% Republican or leans Republican, that sort of thing) which you can figure out for free – and actually with more accuracy – in about 2o minutes by analyzing past voting records.
    2. Your ‘name recognition’ is next to zero because no one knows or cares who you are.

A poll might also ask more in-depth questions about issues and the viability of the incumbent if there is one, but you will pay through the nose for a poll that in-depth.  I’m talking about thousands of dollars.  Thousands of dollars that, I’m guessing, you don’t have when you’re first cracking open that ‘how to run for office’ book.  So do yourself a favor, and skip that part.

How do I find all that stuff out?

You have to do your GOTV canvassing whether you poll or not, because what you really want to know isn’t what the voters are thinking and feeling, but who are the ones that think and feel the way you do – and an anonymous statistical sampling isn’t going to help you there.

Then how do I know if I should run?!

You do your own research, you talk to friends and family, and ultimately, you pray.  Some things just have to be done on faith, and running for office is definitely one of them.

Here are a couple of posts that should help you discern your call to run for political office:

Top 26 Reasons NOT to Run for Office

How to Run for Congress – Is It for Me?

How to Run for Congress – Evaluate Yourself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Run for Congress – Evaluate Yourself


Running for Congress - Evaluating your potential as a candidate

Take a good long look at yourself, your life, your family, your whole situation.  Try to be unbiased (if you can’t, ask an acquaintance to evaluate you).

  • Are you an upstanding citizen?
  • Are you involved in community activities?
  • Do you have a good ‘story’ for yourself?
  • Are you an involved parent (if you have children)?
  • Are you an extrovert?
  • Are you passionate about the people around you?
  • Do you feel strongly about a variety of local, state and national issues?
  • Are you patriotic, perhaps to a freakish degree?
  • Are you intimately familiar with your entire Congressional district?
  • Do you know the best places to eat and meet in your district – from the greasy spoons to the hidden gem bistros?
  • Do you know local small business owners throughout your district, and call them by their first name?
  • Do you have a firm handshake?
  • Do you have a warm smile?
  • Do you remember names and faces well?
  • Are you a straight-shooter?
  • Can you hold your own in a debate, without blowing up or losing your nerve for any reason?
  • Can you smile while someone is calling you a liar and a cheat?
  • Have you always paid your taxes on time and appropriately?
  • Do you have a supportive spouse and family?
  • Do you know the local and state politicos well?
  • Would you feel comfortable cold-calling strangers and asking them for money?  Lots of money?
  • Can you refrain from saying bad things about your opponent, even if they’re true?
  • Do you have a large group of supportive friends?
  • Are your relationships with those friends deep?
  • Do you have any political, business or community leadership experience?
  • Are you on any boards or in a leadership position of any charities?
If you can answer in the affirmative to the vast majority of these, you’re on the right track in your decision to run for Congress.  It’s terribly important to determine first whether or not you are capable of being a candidate, before you put yourself through the most stressful and chaotic year of your entire life.