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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Alexandria Elections: Ready… Set… Go!

We are in election cycle in Alexandria, Virginia for the city based seats. This includes the Mayor, City Council, and School Board. The election is a spring local election that has all the signs and money being spent of a national race. The signs are all over the town, the lit is being dropped at our door on a daily basis. We are meeting candidates at every possible forum. It has everything you would expect, except there is no mudslinging.

My dad sent me a note about 6 weeks ago after I had sent him some of what was going on in the city elections. He sent back a note saying that Chicago is the same, except everyone is talking about how bad the other candidate is. This is not really happening here.

It is great to see the spirit of the founders of this great country is running full speed. It is a great spirit and if we could pull this energy and spirit for all voters we would have 100% turn-out to every election.

This is a big week for the candidates. Everything the candidates worked on the last few months now is compressed into a week when most people are finally deciding who they are going to vote for. Everything the campaigns did, including lit drop, coffees, door knocking, parties, forums, events, debates, etc… all are going to be the building blocks for the last week of the election. Unlike Presidential, State, or even some regional elections, the last week in the local elections is absolutely critical as many of the candidates and voters have not interacted and exposure has been low.

I used to run campaigns in Chicago and we used to day that the last week was the real start of the campaign. Now, don’t get me wrong, the money and time spent over the last few months is not lost or wasted. This is the foundation for where the candidates will build. This is what the candidates will pull from. To make people finally decide, it is the many months, if not years of campaigning that makes a difference. Remember, 90%+ of incumbents win reelection to their seat. This is a function of them campaigning for so long, but also because of the exposure factor.

Anyway, the next 10 days are going to be great. We are going to start to see what these guys really are made of. I will keep updated on how people react to the situations and this will be telling of what they really will bring to the city. I am excited, and hope the voters all become excited to actually turn out and vote!

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