Ready To Run—Future Candidates Now Equipped

December 9, 2011 | By Mikayla Hall and Lauren Hart

Every year across America thousands of people run for public office. Many lose, and do so from common errors that can be avoided by learning from campaign experts.
 
This week 28 conservatives gathered at the Leadership Institute’s Future Candidate School to learn effective campaign techniques as they consider a bid for public office.  

This training helps conservatives thoughtfully consider and proactively strategize their campaign aspirations as well as encourage them to plan ahead.  

The training began with a day dedicated entirely to candidate development. Holly Davis, co-founder and vice president of Gauge Market Research started it off with a simple question—“Are you ready to run?”

For four days attendees learned from expert faculty about what it takes to run a stronger and more effective campaign. Faculty included Stephen Clouse of Stephen Clouse & Associates, Inc., Tyler Harper of The Prosper Group, and Rebecca Norman of The Richard Norman Company.

The remaining three days covered topics such as: coalitions, fundraising, polling, developing a message, and others. These lectures required future candidates to ask themselves what they can do to put themselves on the right path to get elected.

John Paul Wagemann is running again for the Washington State House of Representatives in the 28th district. He lost by around 600 votes with no campaign training.

“My original plan was not as well-written as it could have been.  All four days of LI training reinforced the importance of having a solid plan going into a campaign,” John said.

John says the lectures on the Leesburg Grid and public speaking were particularly encouraging. “I learned much more about public speaking and how to articulate what is important to me and my constituents,” John said.

“We know conservatism is right, but we need to package it correctly so people will want to listen," John continued. "These lectures made it clear how skillful the opposing side is. Conservatives can often get caught up in fighting over what doesn’t matter—we need to focus!”

Recently elected Virginia Delegate Mike Watson, a former LI graduate who took eight trainings at the Institute, closed the training by sharing his candidacy story.

“I went to the Future Candidate School first, and a few months later attended the week-long Campaign Management School. There, I was surrounded by people who wanted to be campaign managers, and I ended up hiring one of them: Annette James. We had an LI team going. We’d had the same training, so we were on the same page, and we won! You can do it too,” Mike encouraged.

“I am horrible on TV, so I went to LI’s workshop and the on-camera training, and improved in debates and public speeches. I was calm, cool, and collected during debates. I had a smile, my arm on the table, and was turned toward the other person when things got heated—all thanks to my training at the Leadership Institute.  Go to as many trainings as you can. Equip yourself for the fight ahead,” Mike closed.

Want to attend a Future Candidate School? To register for this and other LI programs, go here.