Posted by DemocracyKit on 04/24/2017

Eric McGoey, Campaign Manager | Deciding to run

Video TypeInterview
Campaign AreaExplore-Candidate,Explore-Campaign Team,

Eric McGoey, Campaign Manager, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1. What should a prospective candidate think about before deciding to run?

you need to think about what you need to get out of the campaign. If you need to win in order for the campaign to have been worthwhile, that's a really really high bar and you probably shouldn't run because winning is hard - particularly against incumbents, particularly in elections where it's only on the strength of your own name recognition. You don't have the coattails of a party brand or leader as you would in a provincial or federal election. So if you're contesting a school board seat or municipal seat, it's going to be all about you so you need to be comfortable with a bunch of things. You need to be comfortable talking about yourself a lot, which isn't the easiest thing for most of us. You also need to be comfortable asking people for things all of the time. You're going to be asking people for money, you're going to be asking people for their support, and be asking people for their vote. And you're going to be doing that constantly for an extended period of time. That's something that you have to be comfortable with, and you probably don't know whether you're good at it or not yet. You probably need to start doing that. And as you start asking people to help you, and as you start getting a better sense of what it is that you need to do to actually win, what is your magic number of votes that you're going to need to win, how much money do you need to raise, how many volunteers do you think you need what is the voter contact strategy... As you figure out the answer to those things you will have a sense of what it is that you need to accomplish and you have to make sure that you've got the time, that you've got the energy, that you have the support from your family and friends, and that fundamentally this is something that's worth calling in all of your favours to accomplish. If there are friends that you have not been comfortable enough to reach out to for money, for time, for help at the end of your campaign and you know that at the beginning of the campaign then you probably shouldn't run. You have to be willing to use up all of your favours to in all of your IOU's because you believe that this is worth it. If you're not sure then don't do it.

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