"Every festival, county fair, auto show, you name it, I showed up to it. If there was an event with more than two people, I was there."
Stefan Mychajliw Erie County (NY) Comptroller
"All I wanted to do is make my home, my community, the best that it can be."
Kim Bracey Former Mayor, York PA
"Asking people the right questions, like 'what's bothering them, what they want to see changed,'... you can get a great conversation out of that."
Brian Kulpa Supervisor, Town of Amherst, NY
"I often talk to students trying to determine where they want to go in life. I always try to mention: give a thought towards public service."
Lynn Marinelli Former Erie County (NY) Legislature Chairwoman
"I still talk to people today who say to me, 'I remember when you came to my house five years ago when you ran for mayor.' They'll never forget that."
Rob Ortt New York State Assembly Minority Leader
"You have to have a clear rationale for your candidacy, and believe it right down to your socks. It can't be some made-up marketing scheme."
Mark Grimm County Legislator, Albany County, NY
"I did my homework and made sure I researched what City Council did. I was very well-versed in city operations, and I think that impressed people."
Tameika Isaac Devine Former Councilwoman, Columbia, SC
If you’re following the news, you’ll know that there is lots of mystery and intrigue surrounding elections right now. Lines are being drawn in the sand, and no matter where you fall politically, if you’re running for office in 2021, there’s one truth that you’re going to have to face: You’re going to have to deal with all of it.
Are voter fraud and voter suppression and new requirements and the ghosts of 2020 something that you can tackle? I’m guessing not, especially if you have a race to run. More power to you, if you can, but knowing what we know about what it takes to win a local election, our recommendation is that you focus on talking to as many voters as possible.
One of the things you should notice about campaigns that end up going into recounts or legal battles or audits is that they’re close. If a race isn’t close, then there’s no need for the rigmarole. The winning candidate accepts the victory and the losing candidate accepts the defeat – on election night – and everyone goes home. It’s when races are close is when the problems happen.
After all of the hard work you’ve put in, do you want your race decided by attorneys?
Our solution? Focus on winning big. Don’t let your race be close enough to require that kind of controversial aftermath. Slam the door on election night, and spend the next several weeks celebrating instead of running up legal bills.
Of course, we say that here in the blog, and it’s much more difficult to accomplish in real life. But, it’s a mindset that we’re trying to get you to take on. If you want to avoid a mess after Election Day, win your race in the trenches before voters go to the polls. Never let your foot off the gas.
This is a principle we emphasize throughout The Campaign Coach’s Virtual Campaign School, because we want you to win your race with confidence, and not fall into the situation where after all of the hard work you’ve put in, your race is decided by attorneys.
So, we’re not just going to throw an idea out there, without giving you some tools. Here are some things to focus on as you look to not only win your election, but win big:
The best part about winning big is the “mandate” that comes with it. If you have a convincing victory, it gives you a playbook of exactly what voters selected you to accomplish. With close races, you still have some convincing to do, and that will affect how you approach the actual job of public service and your ability to accomplish your goals in office. In The Campaign Coach’s Virtual Campaign School, we give you the tools you need to win big, so that you can be the most effective representative of your community that you can be.
For the next several months, as a campaigning candidate for political office you will be asking people for things – their vote, their money, to share things on social media, to talk to their friends and “spread the word,” media coverage, and so on and so on.
You’d better get good at it.
With the exceptions of the Amazons in the world, over the past year almost every brand that exists has had to develop new ways to communicate with their customers in order to stay in business. Without the normal kinds of in-person experiences, from window shopping to networking events to trade shows, to survive it became absolutely critical to learn how to reach people where they were – which, in many cases was sitting in their living room, stuck at home.
For the last few election cycles, The Campaign Coach has analyzed campaign tactics, and offered best practices and ideas from national races to be pulled into your local campaigns. This year, we’re going to go the other direction – forget everything you’ve seen and move on to 2021, and stay focused on the specifics of the town, city or county where you’ll be running.
Unless the first thing you did when you came to my web site was read my bio (unlikely), you may not know that The Campaign Coach is a fiction author, as well. I’ve published a few novels that, as you might imagine, are always influenced by politics in some way or another.