More than hand shaking and kissing babies:
A good many Candidates fail because they think shaking hands and kissing babies is all they have to do to get elected. They fail to put together a campaign plan. This campaign plan for a local office does not have to be complicated. However, if after you have taken the first step and get elected at the local level and choose to go on to state and national levels the campaign plan has to be in-depth and difficult.
Applying for the job:
In reality you are applying for the job and that job is the political office you are campaigning for. This job is not a 9 to 5 job; not if you do a good job once you are elected. It is a lot of very hard work and long hours. Of course if you see it as only a 9 to 5 job than you might only serve one term. However, if you see it as a real job and john Q. taxpayer as your boss and his taxes pay your wages you will keep your job. Remember the voters gave you that job and the voters can take that job away from you.
Research and planning:
The very first thing you need to do is research your voting district. You need to hold a town meeting, and listen (really listen) to what these voters have to say. Ask them why they want change. Ask them what they want you to do to make the district better.
Remember you are just starting out; therefore, do not make promises you cannot keep. There are some things you cannot change in four or even eight years. So be realistic and promise to try your best.
Be true to yourself:
The other office holders are going to want you to vote on things their way. If it does not have the best interest of the voters and you are truly not in favor of it, then be true to your voters and to yourself.
Likely voters list:
Make a list of likely voters in your district and even a list of those who are not yet registered to vote. Encourage them to register even if they do not think the way you do. Remember it you get elected you work for all the people and in time you will have a chance to earn their vote as well.