Running for Office: Why?

One of the most important things you must do, once you decide to run for office, is to get a clear idea of WHY you are running.

This is the most fundamental question you will be asked, and you will be asked it early and often, all the way through election day.

Many political experts say, and rightly so, that you need to have a 10-second speech, a 60-second speech, and a longer statement. The shortest is for elevators, or the line at the grocery store. The 60-second might be for a luncheon event or networking situation, or when encountering the press from time to time. And fundamentally, rather than going into details of issues, you need to know, and relate, why you are running for office.

Keep it simple. For example, “I’m running for the legislature because I believe that ordinary folks can do a better job of representing our interests than the politicians we have in office now.” Or “I’m running because we need to really find out and control what’s going on in the state capital.”

Think about why you are running — if it’s not something external to yourself, you may want to think again about running. Many of our current politicians ran (and continue to run) because they think of politics as a career, or the next stepping stone on their way up the political ladder. You know that’s not you — make sure you communicate that to your voters – and let “why” you are running permeate everything you do in your campaign.

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