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Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:19 PM

I want to run for office

but I don't really know where to begin. I live on the north-side of San Antonio. I'm currently an 8th grade mathematics teacher, father, and husband. I want people to have a chance at something better. I want better education, better job opportunities, better roads and better representation of the people's will. Over the years, I've watched as the far right have had their way, and it pains me to think that my child will be raised in such a volatile environment. I'm looking for some ideas on where I might get started and what I should perhaps try to run for in the future. Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

20 replies, 1729 views

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply I want to run for office (Original post)
sarin Dec 2012 OP
TheBlackAdder Dec 2012 #1
sarin Dec 2012 #2
TheBlackAdder Dec 2012 #11
elleng Dec 2012 #3
sarin Dec 2012 #4
brewens Dec 2012 #5
sarin Dec 2012 #6
brewens Dec 2012 #7
sarin Dec 2012 #8
TheBlackAdder Dec 2012 #10
sarin Dec 2012 #12
TheBlackAdder Dec 2012 #14
sarin Dec 2012 #16
northoftheborder Dec 2012 #9
sarin Dec 2012 #13
TheBlackAdder Dec 2012 #15
DhhD Dec 2012 #17
LeftInTX Dec 2012 #18
johncoby2 Dec 2012 #19
sarin Dec 2012 #20

Response to sarin (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:20 PM

1. How many miles? nt

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:23 PM

2. From San Antonio

I'm just outside loop 1604, in the 78261 area code.

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Response to sarin (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:27 PM

11. Actually, I was joking about running...

Bad joke, I guess.

I did reply later on with some suggestions.

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Response to sarin (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:24 PM

3. PTA>local school board>state school board>>>>>

Best of luck. I thought, years ago, that if I were to do anything as public as you're contemplating, that's how I'd start.

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Response to elleng (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:28 PM

4. Would it make sense

to join the PTA for my area? I'm already a member at my school, which is on the opposite side of town from me. My son is only 2 at the moment, so I don't think I can join PTA in my area just yet.

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Response to sarin (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:28 PM

5. Infiltrate. Run as a Republican and when you get to the Senate, switch parties! n/t

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Response to brewens (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:29 PM

6. I've

half considered that, but I think I'd rather run on my own merits and stay true to myself. Though considering where I live, I would probably have a better chance as an R than a D...

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Response to sarin (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:49 PM

7. You'd have to sell your soul to get in high enough, but if anyone ever did that, imagine

what they could expose. That could also get someone killed.

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Response to brewens (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:01 PM

8. hm...

I do like living...

It would be interesting if someone like Romney just turned on his own party and laid it all out there, wouldn't it. I wonder what we'd find out.

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Response to sarin (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:12 PM

10. First - Do you have ANYTHING (Donations, Writings,etc.) that could paint you as Liberal?

Just ideas here...

No matter how you run, there will be extensive background checks made on you by you opponents.

If you are able to stay clear of them, or remain off the radar, you might be able to pass yourself off as an Eisenhower Republican or someone closer to the base of how your district will vote.

Next, grab a list of the election maps for the 2008, 2010 and 2012 elections, per voting district to see how the people have voted, see if there is a consistent change, average them out and you'll have a good basis as to how the voters will go. That's the market you would need to sell to. If it's heavily red, then you might have to go to the GOP (providing the background checks don't show a democrat donation).

Next, start getting a name out there for yourself, such as a civil advocate (not a liberal one), someone who defends the veterans, a problem solver people can go to to get help with a problem they have with government, etc. Try to get in the local papers. Don't mention anything about running for office yet. Just get name recognition. (If you are interviewed, mention the folks in the next paragraph as other projects you are working on - give them plugs.)

Next... Network, Network, Network. If you can be a fundraiser for a hospital or charity, you'll get invited to gala's where powerful meet. Websites are cheap, contact the groups and volunteer getting the word out on them. This might involve family and friends help.

Develop a platform of ideals you would like to follow. Post your objectives above your desk at home so you will see it every day and make a pact that you will perform X number of things each day. It can be one, it can be two, etc... Just do at lest one thing a day... with NO breaks.

No matter where you go, the supermarket, the school functions, events... you need to introduce yourself to everyone... selling yourself. No one else will sell you. Be confident. As you network, you'll see just how small of a community you really live in. Folks will know you, they'll know of you just by word of mouth.

Finally, if you are serious about this... you'll need to stay away from the boards and any online or TV time-wasters.

My father ran as an Indy and won mayor against two parties that outspent him by a factor of 15. He won by less than the town's 3% margin, coming in at 2.7% and during the runoff... the trailing party outspent him by a factor of 30. My father spent $2,500 (in 1980 dollars) versus the other party's $75K during the runoff. Suffice it to say, he lost. He did this just by networking... which takes about 1-2 years to do.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:38 PM

12. Great

This is excellent advice. I've contacted a friend of mine who is the secretary of the local Democratic Party. I'm meeting up with him on Wednesday to start moving in that direction.

As to running as an R, I could very much be an Eisenhower Republican I suppose, though it's the social issues that would probably keep me out of the party. I am wise enough to skirt the issue, but eventually it would come up. Years ago I gave to the Republican party, when I was young and really didn't know what I was doing...recently I gave to the Obama campaign.

I do understand the need for networking, and getting my name out there, so I'll definitely work in that direction as well.

Thanks for the excellent advice.

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Response to sarin (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:45 PM

14. That Obama donation will bite you big time. Your only options are Indy or Blue Dog. (Updated)

You will automatically get smeared on the right wing blogs and right wing papers.

Also, I've learned this from personal experience (I won't say why).

1) Never talk to newspaper people who are conservative or have an agenda. Always perform due diligence on them and find out the ones who will be receptive to you and your goals. It's the difference between getting out what is discussed and what the reporter writes about. Remember, you can be selective on who you speak with. Not all press is good press. If you don't know a news person, state that you are pressed for time and to call your office number. That will stall them. If you find they are not a good fit, search for another writer who is, you can use any writer at a paper you want. It doesn't have to be their political writer, if could be a freelancer, someone who is a floater between groups or even the family section. If the political writer is a GOP hack, stay away from them. Either someone else or you delay the interview indefinitely. Never cave in on this rule.

2) Always record newspaper interviews. Most good reporters will want to tape you and won't mind being taped, the bad ones won't tape you because they can claim you either did or didn't say something. Just as they take an interview, you break out your own recorder. I'm not sure what the laws in Texas are about Second Party Recordings - whether or not you need permission. If you do not need permission to record an event, buy a nice small pocket recorder and carry it around on your person. (You might think paranoia here... until it saves your butt. Then you'll see why. That time WILL happen.)

3) Right wing blogs and some people responding your your articles will smear you - you or your family members must NEVER respond to those types of trolls. They mean nothing to anyone, but your responses can be held against you. That's the job of surrogates to do. You need to develop a tough skin and keep a neutral face and calm demeanor when people are trying to elicit a reaction from you. Remember, a solid 30-35% of the people will be against you and NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY OR DO... it won't matter - they'll still be against you. Don't feed the trolls.

4) You can spin the Obama donation a little, though it won't placate the obstructionists or TP folks. Bring up your prior GOP support, vote for Obama because of THE PARTY OF NO tactics that was being used to stall government and favor the oligarchs. Have many nice examples, such as the Death Panel flip of Chuck Grassley (his own bill), stimulus under Reagan and GHWB but not Obama, complain how Texas is a TAX Donor to other states who complain about socialism but don't mind Texas taxpayer money, etc... You can get a list of dozens of flips. Mention how you didn't trust Moderate Romney as he wouldn't show his tax returns. State you were an Eisenhower Republican whose ideas were purged from the New GOP and slightly align with the current Democratic position.

I'll have more at some time.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:26 PM

16. Great

Thank you for the wonderful advice. The first tip especially is useful, along with the recording idea. I'll have to invest in that (assuming it's legal, I'll check later).

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Response to sarin (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:07 PM

9. John Courage is a Democrat who has run in this area for several races. He too,....

....is a teacher, a Democrat, but can't win here. But he is a very nice man, and if you could contact him he might could give you some advice. He ran for Tx. Congressional seat this year.

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Response to northoftheborder (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:45 PM

13. Unfortunately

I doubt I have the clout initially to contact Mr. Courage out of the blue, but I think I can build a name for myself and work in that direction. His credentials are much better than mine, but I'm not sure I want to be a part of the Texas Senate just yet. Still one can hope.

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Response to sarin (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:14 PM

15. 2 years... take some law courses. nt

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Response to sarin (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:41 AM

17. Your run is good news to me. Perhaps the Primaries should start very soon.

I was hoping for a coalition of Democratic candidates, and possible candidates, to start a primarian process against already elected Republican lawmakers. This coalition and its backers, the Democratic Base and Party of Texas, needs to make public the voting records and outcomes of all Republicans in office. An example is that the State of Texas is giving away its ACA Medicaid money to other states. And the Republicans in office have set up Texas taxpayers to make up the difference; for instance, higher hospital district taxes and increased county and license fees even though we have already paid Federal Income Taxes.

All Republican City, County, State Republican lawmakers need to be held accountable for the results of their decisions. I hope the Primary starts now for all R-politicians because a lot of the work should be done months ahead of time.

Personally, I think that Curz is a mismatch for our State. Texans need to be made aware of his voting record and its results. In January 2013, Cruz needs to be ask/primaried about what he is going to do to help each segment of the Texas public. He will be on a committee as a junior senator so he should have time to response to a Democratic challenge. Texans need to know that he is only representing wealthy people who do not want to pay taxes. Remember he kept referring to these positions during his October 2012 debate in Houston on PBS. He said that he is against the ACA. Lets start there. Will he vote for tax cuts for the middle class in January? That EARLY voting record needs to be made public because Texans can determine if they have been deceived by him. All Texans need to determine who Cruz represents.

Edited for spelling.

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Response to sarin (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:08 AM

18. You might think my idea is lame

I'm also in San Antonio.

Many years ago, I got involved with the Leon Creek Greenbelt Coalition. It was a grassroots committee that started with Leon Creek, a small pond, and Schnaubel park. It turned into a gem.


It was something I felt passionate about and it was fun. Went to some of the city's Park and Rec meetings. I'm lucky that I live in District 7 and our City Council has always supported parks efforts in our district. (Castro was our Councilman before he became mayor. )

Anyway, getting involved with a cause that you enjoy can be stepping stone too.





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Response to sarin (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:45 AM

19. Answer these questions

How many votes will you need to win?
How much money will you need to win?
How will you generate this money to win?
Who are your core volunteers?
Do you have support, money, time, effort from the local clubs and organizations?


As a teacher, you would probably have to resign when you file to run.

Think before you run. Do not expect local clubs and volunteers to flock to your campaign just because you put your name on the Democratic ballot. Do not think money will flow just because you put your name on the Democratic ballot. You might be surprised and disappointed.

We had someone run for Congress here in CD36. He had absolutely no idea of what he was doing or where he was running. Obama lost this area by 70-30. If he had done his homework, he would have moved and ran in a district that he could possibly win in.

Think. Anyone can run as long as you have the application fee. Don't be an anyone. THINK before you jump in.

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Response to johncoby2 (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:08 AM

20. I see

Good advice. I've spoken with the local Democratic Secretary and I'm probably going to start smaller, such as a precinct chair. Build up some political capital and learn the ropes before diving in.

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