Advice to Candidates
We are now about 60 days away from the 2020 elections. I have seen some great candidates speaking on Zoom and in-person, and I have seen some horrible candidates. I know campaigning in a COVID-19 world isn’t an easy thing. Lord knows that door knocking is next to unethical to do, and yet some candidates are coming up with unique ways to do that as well.
There are things all candidates should be do when hosting or attending Zoom forums. As a candidate, you should use your website to put out weekly or biweekly messages, and push those messages to your social media platforms. You should use all the technology at your fingertips to maximize exposure. A great example is Kim Klacik, who had a great online commercial that went viral. All candidates need to come up with their OWN messages.
A Few Mistakes Candidates Are Making:
Mistake Number 1 – Let’s examine what not to do, when speaking at an event or on a digital forum. Don’t ever READ your message, or if you have to, don’t make it look like you are reading it. I have seen several candidates this past cycle reading their speeches, and I am telling you, it looks like a middle school kid giving an oral report in front of the classroom! We are into September, and you should be able to speak for 3 to 5 minutes without reading a prepared statement. If you have been doing this since early 2020, and some of you since late 2019, shame on you for not being able to get up and talk on why YOU are running for this office, or what YOUR genuine views are on particular issues. You should know this by now!
Mistake Number 2 – Know your audience, and acknowledge whom you are speaking to. Don’t just say, “Organizations like yours…”, as everyone will know you have no clue who you are speaking to, and it will turn off your audience. It shows a lack of respect for the organization you are speaking to. Additionally, don’t proceed to whine about how the organization’s name you don’t really know isn’t doing enough to help your campaign. These two things really turn people off, especially if you, as candidate, have made zero effort to reach out to them prior to showing up at an event where you’re expecting to be allowed to speak.
Mistake Number 3 – I have said this over and over again when it comes to fundraising — send a thank you, thank the donor personally if you have a chance to meet them, and don’t complain to a donor who only gave $50.00 toward your campaign. Especially in election races that one expects you to lose, thank you notes are even more important. These supporters are donating because they believe in your message. Don’t disrespect them by saying something like “You only gave me X”, because the response I’d give is “I didn’t have to give you anything!” What you should do is genuinely thank them, and politely ask if you can be introduced to some of their friends who’d be interested in supporting your campaign.
Candidates Doing The Right Thing
Many candidates have done a great job adapting to the most odd year of campaigning in our lifetime, as they have met the challenges of 2020 and have made lemonade out of this campaign year.
Candidates, like Delegate Neil Parrott, who is running for US Congress in Maryland 6, has come up with unique ways to contact voters, knock on doors and raise money for his campaign. Neil has hosted social distancing fundraisers in-person, does every media outlet interview put in front of him, and doesn’t ignore invites to appear. When asked to be on a show, he won’t say, “oh talk to so and so…”. Neil understands that the buck stops with him, and when people request interviews, he returns phone calls. There is nothing that voters hate more than a candidate who isn’t responsive. Consider Donating to Neil Parrott for Congress by clicking here.
Another great candidate is Chris Palombi, who is running against the prince of darkness, Steny Hoyer, who has been in office more years than Chris has been on this earth. Chris, like Neil, is attending virtual events as well as doing socially distanced events. Chris is also very responsive, and knows his political issue inside and out. He, too, is making lemonade out of 2020. Consider donating to Chris Palombi for Congress by clicking here.
Other Notable Candidates
Here is a quick rundown of other great candidates running in 2020 that deserve your support. These candidates are doing everything right:
- Johnny Ray Salling for US Congress MD-2
- Charles Anthony for US Congress MD-2
- Corine Frank for Board of Education Anne Arundel County
- Maria Vismale, Baltimore City Council District 5
- Andrew Garbarino for US Congress NY-2
- Dan Forest for Governor - NC
- Andy Harris for US Congress MD-1
If you’d like a copy of the Doctor Politics campaign manual complete with layouts and “How To” guide, please email me at Dwight@dwightsworld.com.