Dwight Patel is the 3rd Vice Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party and Board member of the Montgomery County Republican Club.
Running for Office in 2024
If you’re planning to run for office, now is the time to start preparing. From campaign strategies to fundraising, there are numerous tasks and considerations that must be taken into account before you even file your candidacy. By getting an early start on this process, you can ensure that you’ll have the best chance at success with your campaign if you get started early.
Running for office requires a great deal of planning and foresight – the earlier you can get started on the process, the better your chances of winning. There are many different components to consider when running for office – from establishing relationships with key stakeholders to developing effective fundraising strategies. By getting an early start on these tasks, you can make sure that every aspect of your campaign is as strong as possible when it comes time to file your candidacy papers.
First thing you will want to do is get a domain for your campaign before you file your candidacy paperwork. Sad to say many cyber squatters will look at filings and squat domains. So, get your name dot com, org and net. You want your URL to be short an easy to remember your name dot com, org and net is the best, but what if your name is Bob Smith or something where your name is taken. Try adding middle initial. Here are some generic things you can add to name.
GET YOUR DOMAIN FIRST
Short simple names best for campaign URL
- Your Full NAME + Office .com, .org and .net
- Last name + Office or State, County local jurisdiction .com, .org and .net
- Vote + Full Name .com, .org and .net
- Vote + Last Name .com, .org and .net
- Your Full Name + Congressional District or Legislative or Council manic district number .com, .org and .net
- Your Last Name + Congressional District or Legislative or Council manic district number .com, .org and .net
- Friends of Your Name .com, .org and .net
- Citizens for your name .com, .org and .net
Avoid long names or phrases or a URL That would be a mouth full. If you can’t say it three times fast without tripping over name you don’t want that domain.
You got your domain name now what’s next?
FINDING YOUR CAMPAIGN TREASURER
You will need to do is find a campaign treasurer for your campaign, you can’t raise a penny, open a bank account, file your paper work to run for office without a campaign treasurer.
Every political committee must designate a treasurer before it can accept contributions or make expenditures. The committee must designate a treasurer on the Statement of Organization. Treasurers must ensure committee reports and statements are complete, accurate and timely. This is a significant responsibility-if there’s an enforcement action against a committee, the treasurer is usually named as a respondent. Treasurers can be found officially liable for the actions they take.
- Sign and file all committee reports and statements.
- Deposit receipts in the committee’s designated bank within 10 days of receipt.
- Authorize expenditures or appoint someone else (orally or in writing) to authorize expenditures.
- Monitor contributions, ensuring they comply with legal limits and prohibitions.
- Keep records of receipts and disbursements for three years from the filing date of the report to which they relate.
- Election filings which are set by the state, if you are running for Federal office you need to file with the Federal Election Commission (FEC)
A candidate cannot choose to act as his or her own committee treasurer.
The ideal treasurer you’d want is a CPA or a highly detail-oriented individual to be your campaign treasurer. I highly recommend if this is your treasurers first campaign, or second campaign make sure they take Campaign treasurer training courses most state party’s offer treasurer training.
A good treasurer will keep you and your campaign out of the headlines.
You Don’t want to pick a treasure lightly. The results of a bad treasurer could get hit with a large fine, embarrass your campaign or you could go to JAIL. In Maryland, just within the past 20 years, we have had candidates use campaign money to fund their own vacations, and weddings, buy personal tech, take friends out to dinner on campaign dollars, and more. All of these things are WRONG. You can use campaign funds for official campaign-related expenses ONLY. Taking your friends out to dinner isn’t a legitimate campaign expense. All of the campaigns that engaged in the risky business of playing fast and loose with campaign funds all had one thing in common, other than all being Democrats. They all had relatives or friends as treasurers who had ZERO experience in being campaign treasurers.