Well, qualifying ended yesterday for the October 20 election.
There were a number of half-hearted attempts to “draft” me at the last minute. There were also attempts to draft Karen Gadbois and Latoya Cantrell. None of us will be on the ballot.
I like the idea of people drafting a candidate. I’m not sure how often it really works, if ever. Still, sending text-messages and e-mails at the last minute isn’t really an effective way to achieve the goal.
I’ve got a couple or three suggestions on how to do it better.
- Don’t wait until the last minute. People were trying to convince us to run when there were literally only hours left in the qualifying period. That’s really too late. Yes, I know this election kind of snuck up on us, what with Oliver Thomas’ surprising fall from grace. But if you are disappointed with the field of candidates we have, start thinking about the next election cycle now. It’s not too early. Decide who you want to draft now and starting working on them.
- Address concerns. If your potential candidate cites specific reasons why he or she “can’t” run, take those seriously. See if you can think of a way to address those concerns and turn that “can’t” around. For example, I said I couldn’t run because our house isn’t finished. One person told me that’s exactly why I should run, which I thought was rhetorically brilliant, but it didn’t actually address my pregnant wife’s concern that her house is going to be a construction site forever.
- Offer assistance. I think this is the most important point. Citizens who toy with the notion of running for elected office are daunted by the notion that they’ll be out there all alone. Of all the people who urged me to run, only one person actually made a substantive offer of help. The support of the community can be a great factor, if it’s real. So make it real.
OK, those are my ideas off the top of my head. I’m sure there are many more that could be added. It won’t be easy and the task should not be approached lightly. Remember, the idea is to send the candidate off screaming and kicking.
This might be an appropriate place to make a last-minute plug for the Green Party of Louisiana convention tomorrow. Note the change of location.