Four Signs You Should Run for Office
BJ Murphy, the youngest elected Mayor of Kinston, North Carolina, recently wrote an article with the top four ways to run a local campaign on a small budget. By running a highly organized and relationship-oriented campaign, you can make a lot of ground without breaking the bank. (Unless you just feel like breaking the piggy bank. Hint: There is a little plug in the bottom where you can get your money out if you so desire without the need of a hammer.)
Running for office doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it require any special expertise. If you have a team of committed volunteers, a well developed platform, and a couple of meaningful stump speeches, you can win a local election.
Here are the Four Signs You Should Run for Office:
1. YOU CAN’T FIND A CANDIDATE THAT YOU CAN SUPPORT.
How many times have you looked at a slate of candidates and thought, I just can’t support any of them? If you are thinking this right now, then it is probably because you are knowledgeable on the issues, know exactly what your positions are, and won’t be satisfied until you see a candidate who aligns with your priorities.
In all likelihood, if you are having trouble finding a candidate to support, other people are too. Thus, there is already a primordial voter base waiting for you even before you make your announcement.
2. YOU HAVE SOME SPARE TIME ON YOUR HANDS.
It’s no secret that campaigning takes a lot of time. It is grueling work, taking hours upon hours of one-on-one meetings, phone calls, door knocking, stump speeches, networking events—and that’s all before you take office. It’s a sacrifice that some may want to make, but simply don’t have the time to execute successfully.
If you find that you have plenty of spare time on your hands, it is possible that you may be well positioned to take up the mantle that no one else can. By doing this, you can provide a voice for people who would like to have a change in leadership, but simply are unable to do anything about it themselves.
Here’s one tip about time—your campaign will subtract from the time you spend with your family. If they are not 100% supportive, then there you probably should reconsider.
3. YOU HAVE NO PROBLEMS ASKING PEOPLE FOR MONEY.
The vast majority of people hate asking people for money—yet this is a crucial part of any candidate’s success. Even if you run a low-budget campaign, there will always be expenses like phone lines, palm cards, and gas. Bottom line: your campaign will always need money, and it has to come from somewhere. Thus, every candidate needs to be comfortable with asking people for money. If you have no issues doing this—whether in-person or over the phone, in one-on-one meetings or to crowds—then you are probably the right person for the job.
Fortunately, if you are a little bit apprehensive about asking people for money, you can overcome that fear.
4. PEOPLE ARE ASKING YOU TO RUN.
If people in your district are asking you to run, that is the biggest and most important sign that you should. While it is true that campaigns center around one candidate, they are built by teams of volunteers, precinct captains, staff, and donors, and all of these people must be 100% committed to your victory. You will need that support before you even begin your campaign if you want to hit the ground running.
But more than that, if people ask you to run, it is because they are looking to you as a leader—someone who people look to for inspiration, vision, and guidance. If this is you, you may have more than just an opportunity—you may have an obligation to run.
If you see these four signs, consider running for office. With the right team, a well thought out platform, and an inspiring stump speech, you are well on your way to a victorious campaign.