How to Run for Office: 30 Steps to Getting Your Campaign Off the Ground - National Democratic Training Committee

If you’re running for office (or even considering it) you’ve probably heard or read about the sheer number of first time candidates running. Getting your campaign started can be a daunting task, but that’s why we’re here. There’s a big blue wave coming in 2018. We know it is going to be beautiful and we want to help make it happen!

Therefore, we have a new project for the new year for new candidates. Everyday this month we’re going to give you a tangible step or recommendation to get your campaign off the ground. Thirty steps in thirty days. We’ll cover finance, field, comms, and all the other basics you’ll need in place to run a personalized, targeted and professional campaign plan, focused on winning.

Getting Started

The first tool we want to share is our “Getting Started Checklist”.  This is an in-depth list of the first things your campaign needs to do build a solid base from which to run.

Disclaimer: We know this is not the exciting stuff you got into politics to learn and do. But, we want you to be successful, so your best bet is to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.

Remember, this is a comprehensive checklist. If it’s overwhelming, that’s ok. Take a breath and go through it item by item.

A Quick Recommendation

As you go through the checklist you will encounter a lot of dates, like the deadline for registering your campaign committee, the first day you can start collecting petitions, and most importantly — Election Day! We recommend building a calendar as you go through the checklist and identify those dates.

Tip: If you want to make an editable copy of the checklist for yourself, you have two options once you’ve clicked on that link:

  • If you use Google docs, click “File”, then “Make a Copy”.  Google will ask you where you want to save the file, and then it should appear in your Google Drive.
  • If you would rather work in Microsoft Word, click “File,” then “Download As,” then “Microsoft Word”.  The file will download as normal.

Once you make your way through this checklist, you should have mapped out the essentials for making your campaign official and getting on the ballot. You should also be starting to map out key elements of your campaign, like compliance and finance. Once you’re ready, check out our Budgeting & Financial Compliance course to take the next step in your campaign journey.

Tomorrow, Your First Kitchen Cabinet Meeting.

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