by Ruel Russell
Amazingly enough, people often say, “Boy, we had no choice in candidates!” after an election. Voting is only one small way to express our freedom of choice, but certainly is not the only way. Regardless of your party of choice, you can always participate with your party on a local level.
You can get involved with your House/Senate district and serve on that committee, which will give you an avenue to share your ideas and make your wishes known. These local district meetings are usually held on a monthly basis. Among things that are included in the party’s agenda are candidate search committees on which you can serve. These committees help identify qualified and electable candidates. The search committee interviews possible candidates and forwards the best qualified candidate to the endorsing convention. You should also attend your district’s precinct caucus to identify who is involved in the process, and the agenda that is voted on; if you have an idea that you or another person there can put forward for a vote, it may be added to the agenda.
These are ground floor ideas to be involved, and understanding the basics of placing candidates on the ballot. The precinct caucuses generally do a straw vote to determine the person with the strongest support of the people, but this may not mean that candidate will be the choice. In addition, many candidates may attend and/or speak at these gatherings. Since you are now involved and better informed than most, this is the time to get behind the candidate of your choice and work with them on the campaign.
The opportunities in political campaigns include parades, rallies, talking with supporters or possible supporters to help get the party’s endorsement at endorsement convention. Which brings to mind that you would probably want to be a delegate at that convention, a position that will allow you contribute more feedback regarding the choice of candidate and party agenda.
The candidates will have hospitality rooms at the endorsement convention and you may, usually, represent your candidate in the hospitality suites. I represented my candidate; I made about 400 calls before the convention and served at the hospitality suite. My candidate was lagging behind at this point, but passed and nearly had enough votes for endorsement on the first ballot. The other candidate stepped down and supported my candidate for endorsement. This is an exciting event in which to participate!
My candidate sent a nice note thanking me for my help and said they couldn’t have succeeded without me. Individuals can make a difference … add a few together and who knows!
Don’t think that you cannot make a difference … because you can! You will be energized beyond belief and feel very gratified by your efforts.
We need to protect our freedoms; many of you have/are serving your country so you have already made an effort – thank you! In the future, I may write about other opportunities. Thank and best wishes!
Ruel Russell lives in St. Paul, Minnesota