WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States prides itself on upholding the pillars of democracy. Such democratic values not only include freedom of speech and religion, but also the right for citizens to run for office and represent their constituents. Better yet, one need not be an experienced politician to do so.
Whether it be at the local, state or national level, serving a public office position is not as out of reach as it may seem. Simply knowing how to run for office and how to conduct a successful campaign is half the battle.
First and foremost, one must carefully consider and decide what office they want to run for and make sure they meet all the requirements. A good tool to aid with this essential part of the process is the website Run for Office, which showcases positions, descriptions, filing windows and election dates available according to your address. Requirements for positions can be found on the U.S. Secretary of State website.
Next, in order to be a successful and realistic contender, a solid campaign team, strategy, budget and message must be formed. To launch these essential aspects of a campaign, the candidate must truly be informed and knowledgeable about one’s peers, the current political climate and one’s political goals.
Building a campaign team is perhaps the most vital aspect of running a successful campaign. Winning public office is not as simple as having an empowering political vision, but requires the widespread and effective communication of that vision to the public. Individuals or groups who specialize in areas of finance, fundraising, technology, strategy and PR respectively will all be crucial to conducting a well-rounded, efficient campaign.
Another key facet of knowing how to run for office successfully is knowing the opponent. One is likely to fundamentally disagree with their opponent on issues and capitalizing on these disparities is smart campaign strategy.
Furthermore, public speeches and debates are critical parts of a campaign with the power to make or break them. Speeches and debates are the most direct and influential ways to communicate values and ideas to the voters. They can also be the quickest way to convince voters to elect a candidate if they are on the fence.
Knowing how to run for office successfully is crucial to one’s campaign, but it is not more important than the political beliefs the campaign is built upon. Gifted public speaking, savvy strategy and impressive fundraising will only carry a candidate so far without actual political plans and action as a basis and inspiration for the campaign. In short, anyone can run a successful campaign as long as they have the will, the ideas and the passion to do so.
– Catherine Fredette