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Deciding To Run For Office

| Making The Decision | April 9, 2013

Georgine Trujillo

Ms. Trujillo is the founder of Trujillo Communications. With over fifteen years experience in statewide, regional and local political and public affairs consulting; grassroots organizing; marketing and public relations; and international and economic trade development in both the public and private sectors, Georgine is able to provide her clients with a of wealth experience and a vast network of relationships to help them navigate the ever changing political and economic landscape

run for office


Run For Office

If you are going to make a serious run for office, you will need to run a serious political campaign. Contacts have to be made, money has to be raised, precincts need to be walked and mail needs to be delivered to the voters.  It is a huge job to be preformed at a relentless pace in a short time because you can’t put off Election Day. There are no “do-overs.”

If you are serious aboutmaking a run for office, I know you can be successful. Good luck.

Is there a local issue that has you hopping mad? Think you can do a better job than the people who represent you? Don’t just sit there – help fix the problem by running for office.

Whether your are seeking a seat on the local school board or a term as U.S. President, running for office and waging a political campaign is a challenging endeavor. Being successful requires careful attention to detail, a rigorous schedule, and a lot of volunteers who believe in you.

  • Check the qualifications for the office. At a minimum, this usually means that you must be a registered voter in the geographical area in which you are running; there may also be age, residency or experience qualifications.
  • File the required papers to get yourself on the ballot.

Procedures for doing this vary by city, county, and state. A filing fee may also be required to start your political campaign.

Research the office you want to hold. Who will vote in the election, what will you do as an elected official, and what legal obligations do you have to meet? Your local Board of Elections can help you with demographics and legal questions; attending meetings of the office you want to hold will familiarize you with the duties. Share with your family all the information you have gathered, and decide if running for office and engaging in a political campaign is right for you. Take a personal inventory.

Do you have the time, family support, name recognition, fundraising ability, drive to win, and public speaking skills necessary to run a good campaign?

  • Are you already involved in your community?
  • Do you belong to civic (Rotary and Kiwanis) and/or political (local Democrat or Republican club) organizations? 2)
  • Do you volunteer for causes like the PTA or the neighborhood watch?

Make a list of your fellow club members, family, friends, and colleagues you think will support your political campaign. Be realistic about how much time, money, or effort your friends and associates will be able to provide, given their daily work and family demands and priorities.

Exploratory Committee Meeting

You are not going to run for office alone. You will be relying heavily on the people around you. Do not decide to run for office alone, but involve those people who will be working on your campaign in the decision.

The first thing a prospective candidate usually does is to host a small gathering in their home to pitch the idea and see what kind of support might be available. It is very important to get the right people at this meeting. Do not simply invite your friends. Invite people who will be critical of the idea. Make sure that someone present has been involved with a campaign before. If they want you to run, the people at your exploratory committee meeting should ask you very tough questions, be very impressed with your answers, and express their enthusiasm about your campaign without hesitation. As the prospective candidate, you will want to hear this. Be very careful not to convince yourself that you hear things that are not said. Ask someone you trust if they are hearing the same things you are.


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