Had I known then what I know now about running for a such a political office, my answer may have been different. However, I wanted to be supportive and encouraged her to follow her passion. She had been active in local politics for some time supporting and volunteering for various candidates.
At first, she started out wanting to run a grass roots campaign. She reached out to her network and soon the political wheel started spinning. Before you knew it, she had a campaign staff and was out everyday, every night raising money and getting her message out. The more visible she became the busier she got. By the time of the primaries in August she had made enough of a headway to get 35% of the votes with the incumbent Reagan Dunn getting 55%. While this may seem like a big disparity, the trends were encouraging. First of all, Shari was, to the general public, a relative unknown compared to the well-known politician Reagan Dunn who had just ran for the Attorney General office and lost. So, her trend was on the rise while his was on a bit of a decline. In addition, there was a third candidate (Kristina Macomber) who took 9% of the votes and was more ideologically aligned with Shari. The belief was that she would be able to attract most of those voters.
The promising primaries took the campaign to another level. More and more endorsements came in and Shari was now becoming increasingly confident in her messaging. She worked even harder as did those around her. She was now a serious candidate. When her campaign conducted a poll, the insights were clear. If Shari could get her message more visible, she has a legitimate chance to win this election.
So now, we’re five days from the elections. Shari and team are completely engaged in making the most of the stretch drive. They’ve come such a long way supporting a first-time candidate. They will not lose this election due to lack of effort. It’s been both inspiring and humbling to see the groundswell of support that Shari’s been able to garner. Most of all, I’ve been so impressed with Shari’s passion to make a difference for the local community.
After further consideration, I’m sure now that my answer would actually stay the same as when she first asked me about running for this political office: Follow your passion!