Most women we talk to say serving in public office doesn’t sound nearly as bad as campaigning for public office. They’d rather not have a vote on community councils or in legislatures than campaign. This makes perfect sense. Most of us do not love the thought of promoting ourselves for months.
Know this: most local races are small. Your state or county or city has records of exactly how many people voted for the current seat holders. They also have easily findable records of exactly how much money each candidate—successful or not—spent on their campaigns and where. Generally you can find them just by Googling “financial disclosures candidates” plus whatever office you’re interested in.
Just doing this Googling exercise may help you get a sense for what you’re signing up for. The amount of money and votes you need may be less than you think.
Most campaigning is not harder than being a Relief Society president. In fact, it’s very similar. You want to reach out to people, get into their homes or workplaces, find out what concerns them, find out what you and your organization can do to help, make sure they know how to contact you when/if they have needs or concerns, etc.
You may put miles on your car or holes in the soles of your shoes. But you can do it on your own terms—by reaching out, showing love, listening, and sharing with your neighbors how you see the problem and, where you have ideas, what you think we as a community can do to help.
Finally, there are training and resources for people who are ready to campaign. Use them! (You can Google “candidate training” plus your geographic area, political party, or relevant demographic like age or gender. There will be a lot of resources.)
What if you don’t know what office to run for? Spend some time looking at your city and county websites; you’ll find them listed there. Run for Office has a tool that allows you to plug in your address to see what offices you are eligible to run for; However, many local offices are missing.
Check out Project Elect’s Resources page for more ideas. Attend a candidate training. Sign up for our mentoring program. You’ve got this!