When I decided to run for an elected office, I knew that it would be hard, and at times, I would have to step up my knowledge meter to a whole new level. I was elected as a Council Member for the City of Glen Rose on May 7, 2016, and for a whole year, I have dedicated myself to working hard and finding innovative ways to spark the volunteerism and ownership in the city. I am also trying to modernize the process of government and policy in a conservative manner.
I have put together a list of tips that a Military Veteran might need if the decision to run as an elected official is a go.
- Know why you are running and have a plan that includes objectives that are achievable.
- It is not a sprint, but a marathon. Don’t go guns a blazing, because you will be overcome with the just procedural information required to change policy and laws.
- When campaigning, know your audience and learn the lay of the land. People live in groups for a reason, most likely because of shared beliefs or culture.
- Be yourself, but a translated military veteran understands that less than about 8% percent of all living Americans have served in the military at some point in their lives.
- Walking and talking matters, social media is good, but you need to get out and make contact. Ask yourself how many people actively on social media actually vote.
- Remember you will represent all people in your area, this means you will come in contact with people that don’t like your views. Listen to them and keep an open mind, they might have good ideas.
- Wear comfortable shoes and always make yourself comfortable before you sit down for meetings.
- Before any speaking event, have a warm up session with someone that knows you, It will help you calm down and be better prepared.
- Lastly, I did not highlight my military service, but it will always be a part of me. Introduce yourself and if a citizen brings it up, be prepared to share one story that connects you to your objectives as an elected official. This helps a lot.
I have not decided to run a second term, but thought I would pass some information that could help in the future for someone out there that decides to run for an elected office. See you out there.
- Robert Marquez Jr.