Are you considering running for a local office, such as school board or city council? Do you have a specific cause or policy that you’re passionate about? Or do you want to use local office as a launching pad for a larger political career? Regardless of your motivations, running for local political office can be a great way to build name recognition, enter the political stage, and serve your community. However, just because a local election might be small, doesn’t mean that winning will be easy. Sometimes local elections can be just as tough to win as state ones. Here are three tips to help you launch your campaign and get off to a solid start:
Know how many votes you need. Too many first time candidates don’t have a plan to win. They make a lot of appearances, knock on a lot of doors, and go into election day hoping that their hard work has paid off. Savvy and experienced candidates take a more strategic approach. They look at turnout in past years and analyze the winning vote totals. They then set a target for how many votes they need to win the race.
Having a target can help you campaign more effectively. You can estimate how many likely supporters you have, which should help you know whether you’re in strong standing or if you need to campaign harder. You’ll also then go into election day with a firm idea of how likely you are to win.
Make a contrast. In local politics, the issues at stake aren’t always as clear to the general public as issues on the national or state level may be. Since the issues aren’t as big or obvious, the differences between candidates may not be as clear, either. To stand out with voters, find one big issue and carve out a unique stance on it. Highlight that stance in every appearance you make. Also repeat frequently how your stance makes you different from your opponent. If you are consistent in your message, voters will eventually make the connection and those who support your position will likely move to support you.
Get involved in party politics. At the early stages, one of the best things you can do is get involved in your local party. To launch an effective campaign, you’ll need a mailing list and a base of potential supporters and donors. If you have the support of your party, you can use their lists of supporters to build your own base. The party may also put some money into your campaign which will give you a head start. However, party leaders tend to support candidates who are active in the party. Get to know your leaders and be active in helping other party candidates in other races.
For more help, contact a political consulting service like The Action Company. They can help you with all of these steps and assist you in launching a winning campaign.