Love and politics have one thing in common: timing. Just because an elected seat is “open” or you despise the current incumbent, doesn’t mean the time is right for your family and you to enter the political arena.
Now it is also true, there never is a right time. If there was, most people would never get married or start a business or commence any new adventure, but certain questions have to be asked and answered for this to be the right decision.
So honestly ask yourself:
- Family. Is your family on board 100%? They will have substantial skin in the game. So are they all in? To quote the Three Musketeers, “One for all, and all for one.”
- You. Are you all in? Are you willing to shake off the bad days and still make fundraising calls or go door-to-door? Are you willing to work when you are tired? Remember the pace and example you set, leads your volunteers, family and staff.
- Thick Skinned. Are you thick skinned? Are you willing to let snide comments and attacks role off your back like water on a duck?
- Personal Finances. Are your personal finances in order? If we have to delineate this question more, you should not run.
- Support. Is there support, outside what you have convinced yourself, for your candidacy? Are there donors? Are there volunteers?
- Work. Are your business partners or employer supportive and understand you added another full-time job? Be honest with them. A political campaign is a full-time job.
- Outside Support. Are you the only one who thinks this is a good idea? Are there others encouraging you to run? And if “yes,” what are they willing to do to get your elected?
- Identify Weakness. Do a little opposition research on yourself. Take some time to write down where you think your opponent(s) might attack you and then create ready, ironclad responses. Politics is a full contact sport. Be prepared for it.
These and other questions should be asked and answered honestly. Your significant other should be part of every step of this decision process.