There is a lot to consider when deciding to run for office. In this lesson, you will map out the reason you want to run, what office to run for, and consider how running for office will fit in your life.
Why are you running?
Your why needs to be extremely specific. You need to know what issues/problems you want to solve and why you’re the best person to solve them. What are the issues you care about, the problems you want to solve, the change you demand? These are the things that you find yourself talking about often with coworkers, friends, and family.
- What kind of issues do you care deeply about? (Ex. Education, healthcare, transportation)
- What makes your blood boil or heart soften? (Ex. Wage gap or building community)
- What community or national issues do you find yourself constantly talking about? (Ex. Homelessness)
- What do you find yourself wishing elected officials would do differently? (Ex. Represent the community)
- Why do you care about those things? (Ex: What happened in your family, what choices have you made, or what experiences have you had that shaped your beliefs?)
Resource: Why are you Running? worksheet
Identify the top three issues you want to fix and how you’ve already shown up to solve the problems you see. This will help you choose which office is the best fit for what you want to accomplish and will guide messaging later in your campaign.
Resource: Mapping Your Skills worksheet
How does the office fit with your career, family, and the demands of the position?
- Do you have time for this?
- Is the office Full-time/Part-Time?
- How will this work with my other roles?
- Who will watch my kids while I’m campaigning?
- Can you afford this?
- Is the office Paid/Volunteer?
- Will you have to travel for this office?
Choosing your office
- Local Office
- Municipal or City Government
- Special Districts
- County Offices
- School Districts
- State-Level Offices
- State Legislatures (House and Senate)
- Statewide Elected Offices (governor, attorney general, comptroller,…)
- Federal Offices
- U.S. House (congressional district)
- U.S. Senate (statewide)
Once you’ve decided what you care about, why you are running, and what to run for, you can start identifying your network and building tour campaign team.