It’s October – the leaves are changing colors, and hopefully the weather will get cooler soon. You are 75 days away from Christmas; 82 days away from January 1, 2018, and 391 days from Election Day (Pls note: I’m writing this on October 11, 2017). So, what does this mean? First, you only have 74 shopping days left until Christmas. But more importantly, you have 82 days until January 1, 2018, the first day of another exciting election year.

If you’re still sitting on the fence, you’d better make up your mind soon, because getting in the race now is far better than getting in at the last minute 9:00 pm filing deadline on February 27, 2018. Why? The main reason is that there are a lot of papers you need to fill out accurately. The deadline is 9 pm with papers in hand, not “I can start at 8:59 pm.” So, have your forms all filled out and have your lawyer and accountant look them over. Definitely file before the end of the year, AND even better, file before Christmas or Hanukkah so you can tell all your friends and family members in your greeting cards and Christmas letters that you are running in 2018 and you will need their help (Don’t be afraid to ask for contributions from family members).

Now . . . for those who have taken the big plunge into the deep waters of running for office, the following information is for you.

Halloween Prep

Halloween is this month, and a good way to get your name out on Halloween night is to work with your volunteers to distribute candy with a little note to parents. Since all good parents check their children’s candy, they will see your little note attached to the candy. I would get 3 to 5 volunteers to do the same thing in their respective neighborhoods. Former Congressman Norm Lent (R-NY) used to do this when he was in office. Write a little note and say something like “…it is obvious you care about your child’s health and well-being, now let’s talk about your child’s future…” What worked best for us in years past have been 4×6 postcards with an area where you can tape candy to the card. You can also use palm cards. After Halloween, pre-record a Thanksgiving message that you can send out on Thanksgiving Day via Constant Contact or other distribution channels. Don’t make it political – just a short one to four minute message that can be something simple as “…wishing you all the very best this Thanksgiving and…. from the candidate’s family…to all our friends and family,” something simple — Don’t get political — just a nice message.