ARE YOU RUNNING FOR THE RIGHT OFFICE?
Many candidates decide to jump into a race without assessing their prospects. They see an opening and dive in head first. These are usually the candidates driven by ego who want to see their name in the paper, and these candidates usually fail. With this in mind, here are a few questions to help you decide if you are running for the right office or at the right time.
Should You Run?
Many candidates see an opening in their local district and decide to run without assessing their own personal background. It can be difficult to honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses, but it is essential.
A candidate disclosed to us that he had ONE domestic violence charge many years ago. He asked if we could help him explain that away. When we ran a background check on him, his rap sheet was 8 pages long and included 15 assaults and 7 domestic violence’s. He wanted to run for school board because there was an open seat and no one else was running. He could not comprehend that parents might not want to put a violent felon in charge of their children.
Are You Running For The Right Office?
Do your life experiences match with the office for which you are running? If not, you should reconsider the office which you seek.
- Are you running for school board but you don’t have kids?
- Are you running for treasurer but have been bankrupt a dozen times?
- Are you running for sheriff but are a career criminal?
- Are you running for coroner but have never seen a dead body?
Is This The Right Time To Run?
Have you lived in the community long?
- If you just moved into the area, you should wait to run. The term carpetbagger originated in the post-civil war south when opportunistic individuals would move to newly created districts for the purpose of running for elected office, even though they had no ties to the community and had just moved there. As a result, most elected offices have a residency requirement (usually 1 year,) where you have to live in the district or the state for a certain period of time before running.
- Even if you’ve lived in the district long enough to run, you may still get accused of being a carpetbagger if you don’t have strong enough ties to the community.
Do you have ties to the community?
If no, it’s not a dealbreaker but you should strongly consider building these ties BEFORE you run. Build a network and make yourself known. Get involved in what we once called “civic society” and join the local Rotary Club, a bowling league, or any type of meet up group that interests you and will bring you into at least one part of the community. If possible, start taking leadership roles within those groups so that you will become more visible and show that you have the skills to be in public office.