Dr. Politics – Gearing Up for 2018
By Dwight Patel
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 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 4x6 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.
- Saturday, November 4, 2017 - Candidate Palooza II at MCGOP HQ – 15833 Crabbs Branch Way, Rockville, Maryland. The MC GOP will be having another Candidatepalooza from 10 am – 4:30 pm. We will be covering topics such as how to handle the media as well as being in front of the camera and your elevator speech. www.mcgop.com/candidate_palooza_ii
- Friday, November 17 - 18, 2018 – MDGOP Fall Convention at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve, 7795 Arundel Mills Boulevard, Hanover, Maryland 21076 you should definitely come to the MDGOP Convention on Friday night and meet with various Republicans from around the state. Plus, it’s a good place to pass out cards and meet donors. (Information on MDGOP Convention at bit.ly/2gbFe2K. If you have the time, you should stay on Saturday when MDGOP business is conducted so you can hear the latest reports from MDGOP leadership on what’s happening within the GOP.
- In December, be sure to check local GOP sites for Christmas and holiday parties. Nicolee Ambrose, the MDGOP National Committeewoman, hosts a grand Christmas party, featuring a Who’s Who of MD and National GOP luminaries in attendance. Check MDGOP.org for event details.
- Always check your local GOP website for events in your county and make sure to attend your respective county’s GOP Christmas party.
If you are a candidate or are considering running for office, you should definitely attend the Candidatepalooza on November 4, 2017. Also, the next issue of Dr. Politics will be a Q&A, so you can ask your questions to me at [email protected] I will answer them in the November issue of Dr. Politics.