The Strengths of a Candidate

By Cyndy Bolton

After considering running for a City Council seat in the upcoming election, I decided that the timing was not right for me. My decision not to run was spurred by my lack of education in the environment of the chambers and beyond. I attended workshops around the region that related to participating in an election, all which were presented by highly qualified, knowledgeable people. I also discussed the commitment of such a role with a few of those who had worn the hat.

I concluded that if I were to compete, I would need more time to learn about the role on a deeper level. What I have learned up to now is that the role consumes quite a bit of time, more so depending on the individual's level of commitment.

In a small town word certainly gets around quickly. Networking diligently over the past couple of years has helped my peers understand what I do more clearly. Now that we are on the heels of an upcoming election, and a sense of after-back-to-school normalcy has set in, the phone is ringing and emails are coming in requesting help with candidate's campaigns. I think that I am busier now with these requests than I would have been had I decided to join them in the race.

Consider the ripple effect in our business community from this, or any election. Candidates need to get the word out about their platform. How do they do it? They ask all of their network for help. Some of the more successful ones have a deep and long standing network of family, friends and colleagues to rely upon. Others just fly by the seat of their pants without a solid plan, hoping to wrestle a vote or two from constituents who are weary of the current political status quo. Their strategies vary.

Possibly, as I consider the candidate's primary actions which lead to success, I notice that their main strength lies is their ability to ask and delegate. I suppose that at the top of the political hierarchy, politicians have people whose roles are just that. Locally, you have to learn how to do it on a grass roots level.

I see the role as primarily making decisions using the combination of both your heart and your head. Some may require a polar shift between the two depending upon the issues at hand. In the end, though, it's not about pleasing everyone, but about minimizing the impact of change.

I wish all of the candidates the best in this election, for each one has merit and should be commended for their attempt at representing a responsible government.

For the time being, I will continue to work on promotional items for candidates who have recruited and hired me as help for their campaigns. Over the past year I began the process of learning more, and have developed a keen interest in politics and an appreciation of the process. Who knows? You may see my name in the hat the next time around.