Now that you have decided to run, here are some helpful tips to get started
County Handbook for Candidates.This actually as all the answers you need on the legal side of tunning for office! Seriously, click on the link. For additional commentary, read below.
California Trailblazers is an incredible "academy" for those Republicans running for office. We highly recommend it as it teaches everything you need to know to be a candidate. Click here for more information or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about his experience first hand.
Let's take care of the worse news: You need to file forms for running for office and then for the rest of your campaign.
Here is the best news: The San Benito County Elections office is the most helpful place for the never-run-befores and the run-every-election candidates! The staff there is remarkable, know you may not know what to ask for, but will give you everything you need. You can find them here:
Elections Office440 Fifth StreetSecond Floor, Room 205Hollister, CA 95023Office hours: 8:00am - 5:00pm (M-F) Phone: 831.636.4016 Fax: 831.636.2939 eMail: SBCVote@cosb.us
We could take a stab at listing the forms and when they are due, but we are going to let the pros do their stuff and help you the best way by directing you to them at the elections office!
Special Note: If you a running for a multi-county office, such as State Assemblymember, State Senator, House of Representatives, you need to contact the elections office in each county.
This happens at least once in all races, and sometimes twice for others. You must go to the Elections Office to get the master form that you will copy.
Every candidate needs to get at least a few registered voters, in the jurisdiction they are running in, to "nominate" them for office. Once you have the the blank form from the elections office and photocopy it, you have to get registered voters in the jurisdiction you are running in, to sign them. If you have enough friends and family to meet the requirement, great! Otherwise, you have to go door-to-door or otherwise do what is necessary to get them. If you feel that you cannot go door-to-door or to a little league or football game, or othe community event to do this, you should reconsider your decision to run. Note: If the signature requirement is 20, get at least 40! Many people will tell you they are registered to vote, but sadly, they are not.
Gathering signatures is fun! Many people appreciate you for running, like being able to explain issues to you that they see, and you will build name recognition.
Some offices have filing fees to run, but you can gather signatures to reduce or eliminate the filing fees! This is the best way to start true campaigning in ernst. Go door-to-door or to little league, school basketball, volleyball, or football games, community events, or shopping center parking lots, and get those signatures! Telling as many people that you can that you are running for office secures their vote early!
One of the most powerful tools you can have is endorsements by promiment members and organizations in your community. The more prominent the potential endorser the more likely they are to be expecting to be asked.
A typical initial conversation with an individual would go as follows: "Hello Jane. This is John and I have decided to run for County Supervisor in District 3. I was wondering if you would have time for me to explain my campaign and why I am running, and ask you for an endorsement."
Do not be suprised if they choose to delay a decision, whether you know them or not, especially if they do not. Someone giving you an endorsement is them publically tying their name to yours, and if you do something embarassing it is a direct reflection on them. The potential endorser also has to consider who you ar running against and whether they think you can win or not. Their fear is that they endorsed you but your opponent won, and now your opponent the office holder is in a powerful position and may not take their telephone calls when the endorser needs them to.
Entities like the Board of Realtors typically have a formal endorsement process that they announce.
Special note: Certain entities may not publically endorse candidates, but they will typically meet with you and back channel who they like to their members. Try to meet with every entity to get your name out there!
Social media has largely replaced newspapers has how people communicate about things happening in their community. In San Benito County, the Facebook page "What is happening in Hollister" has over 17,000 members and can be the pulse of San Benito County. Media outlets such as Benitolink publish independently online, but then they post to "What is happening in Hollister" and the number of viewers increases dramatically. There are several other pages related to Hollister, the Hollister School District, San Benito County, so on and so forth.
If running for a board seat, going to the board meetings is important.
If running for an executive position, going to the position's website and social media page for information is a good place to start.
If running for a legislative seat, going to "the Flash Report", "Cal-Matters", and similar sites is important.
Materials - Signs, Literature, Business Cards, Facebook Page, WebsiteWe know from commerce that these things work. Drive anywhere and you see billboards and other signs, promoting products. People leave you with literature to read at your own leisure. Business cards are exchanged. Anything to remind you of a business, service, or product. Campaigning is no different!
Yard signs may not be as welcome as they once were in front yards, but placing them around your district is helpful.
Literature should speak to why people need to vote for you and reach the broadest audience. If you are using pictures (recommended), have it be with you speaking to people. If you are campaigning "like you want it" you are most likely shaking a lot of hands. To make sure people remember your name always leave them with something.
Some vendors the author has successfully used:
This is where being in touch with your community is extremely important. If you are running for school board, what are most of the parents and others interested in schools concerned about today? If you are running for city council, what is the city going to be dealing with that most people would be concerned about? Your message has to be about this. If you need help with messaging and getting it out the best way, a local vendor is:
Paramount Communicationsrusso@winwithparamount.comPhone: (831) 595-8914
Website and Facebook page
In today's world, people want to find you online. A website is the best, but may be too expensive if you are running for a water board or school board seat. City council, maybe. County Supervisor and above, for sure.
If you are website technically-savvy, networksolutions.com has a great beginner website tool and you can buy a domain name there too.
A Facebook page dedicated to your campaign is cheap and easy to use.