The biggest problem with running for office and how you can fix it

run for office

Running for office isn’t easy. If you’ve ever run for office, you know that winning the race and getting elected takes planning. 

If it’s your first time running for office, grab a pen and paper. Take a deep breath. And let’s run through the biggest problem that you’ll face as you take your first steps. 

The Biggest Problem

Simply put, the biggest problem you’ll have to overcome is getting people to hear you. This includes campaign donors, volunteers, the state party, voters and more. 

Unless you start with a famous last name or a following you’ve grown over the years, most people won’t hear you. 

At least, they may not hear you at first.

While your campaign will be the most important thing to you, it won’t be at the top of anyone else’s priority list. This will be especially true for primary elections. People who aren’t involved in Democratic Party politics may ask, “why is one Democratic candidate better than the other?”

Your job from the start will be to answer that one question before anyone can ask. This is a key step to get people to take you seriously and listen.

Develop Your Campaign Message

The best way to overcome doubt is to have a rock solid answer for why anyone should care about you and your race.

Start by asking yourself, “Why am I running for office?”

This should be the foundation of your campaign. It will likely be one of the first questions you will hear at a debate, or from a curious voter. It will be the question you hear from potential campaign donors. And it may be the question you hear most often.

You NEED to be able to answer this question. Answer it with confidence. Your response must sound genuine and resonate with others.

If you can’t answer this simple question, expect to face an uphill battle for the rest of the election.

Once you’ve developed a credible, insightful, and meaningful answer to this question, memorize your response. Repeat it often without hesitation. 

You should respond with the same answer every single time you hear the question.

Tips for the Perfect Answer

If you aren’t sure how to craft a snappy answer, here are some things to consider:

  • Your genuine feelings for running
  • The needs of your constituents
  • The impact the office has on the community it serves
  • Shortcomings of the incumbent that you’d like to address OR
  • The opportunity that exists with an open seat
  • A word or two you want people to associate with you

Your answer may be “it’s time for change.” 

Or you may say, “no one is better prepared to lead on education than someone like me who has been in the classroom for 15 years.” 

Or, you may decide “healthcare is too important to give this job to a career politician.”

There are endless ways to answer why you’re running for office.

Your campaign message will be unique depending on your circumstances. Make sure you tailor your message to be topical and effective.


We’re Dying to Know

So, what will your campaign’s message be? Have you heard of any great responses from candidates about why they are running for office?

Let us know in the comments below if you’ve seen candidate messages that cut through the noise.

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