Kenny Hardin, Salisbury City Councilman Reprinted with Permission
♦ If you’re considering running for City Council this November, I want to share some thoughts and advice to help you prepare:
1. Start now. It’s not too early to launch your campaign. Marketing and PR is critical especially if you’re not familiar to many in our City.
2. Don’t just focus on one Information medium to get your voice and message out there. Not everyone reads the paper or listens to the radio. Take advantage of social media but not just Facebook alone.
3. Find a mentor. Craig Pierce’s (Melissa Pierce) advice and guidance was invaluable to me.
4. Find a strong Campaign Team to help you see the big and small picture. Don’t assume you know everything. I had some very strong people around me who didn’t hesitate to tell me when I was off base or off track. I had some extremely loyal people whom I could trust without question. I could not have been successful without Chris Sifford, Chris Sharpe, Dr. Yolanda Meade Byrd, Kenneth Lydell Muhammad El, and Alex Clark.
5. Find a strong Treasurer to help manage your financial records. I could not have survived nor remained compliant without Nessie Bates. She did so more than handle finances, but that was so integral.
6. Open a campaign bank account now and start continuously fund raising. It takes a minimum of about $10 thousand dollars to run a successful campaign.
7. Do not be shy or hesitant about asking for donations.
8. You do not have to attend every function you’re invited to or respond to every questionnaire you get. Don’t cave in to special interest groups.
9. Don’t allow your ego or self worth to become tied to the office. Develop thick skin. I got some of the most racist, hate filled and threatening messages and phone calls.
10. Do not allow a donation to dictate your direction. I told a few people to keep their money and their vote.
11. Trust none of the other candidates. They are not your friend.
12. Don’t put confidence in registration numbers. Just because people are registered doesn’t mean they will vote or vote for you.
13. Try to place your campaign signs in individual yards instead of on main roads. Be careful about placing your signs directly beside a competitor. It gives the appearance e you’re supporting them.
14. Don’t rely just on just the Black vote alone.
15. Don’t give your vote away. Ask the candidate to tell you what they actually did for your community besides a photo op.
16. Look at a candidates history of advocacy and service. What does their resumé of fighting for the community and those in the margins look like.
17. Vote for a single candidate. You don’t have to vote for all five.
18. Community based social organizations and socio-political groups should be interviewing and vetting candidates now to determine who they are going to support and encourage the community to support.
19. You need more than one voice and one vote on the Council.
20. All skin folk don’t mean you well. Trust your Team, not these hustlers and hanger-ones who talk the talk.
21. Develop a platform of three things you want to accomplish and promote that platform. Stick to it regardless of it’s not popular.
22. Stand for some thing even if you take heat, criticism or have to stand alone.