There’s no such thing as starting a campaign too early.
Time, Treasurer and Talent are the three primary resources every campaign relies on. Treasurer and Talent are renewable resources but Time is not.
A good campaign can always raise at least a little more money and recruit more volunteers but I don’t care how awesome you are, you can’t turn back the clock. This means that not only is it important that we don’t waste time, It’s also critical that we kick off the campaign early.
Now, I’m not talking about holding your campaign launch event 5 years out from election day. That’s probably not a good idea. My point is in regards to the candidate’s planning and preparation.
For instance, a friend of mine is a current elected official and would like to run for a major state’s Attorney General office when the current incumbent retires. We don’t know when that’ll happen but it’s likely 5 years off. Instead of forgetting about the idea for 3.5 years, we’re already thinking through the logistics, identifying threats, planning outreach and shoring up his strengths. All of this will make it more likely that he can mount a strong campaign when that seat opens up.
It’s also rare for a campaign to actually launch too early. This is especially true for first-time candidates who are starting at zero on all fronts. If you’re in this position, you need the maximum amount of time possible to identify and persuade voters to support you. When you’re planning your launch, don’t shy away from the early side of the calendar. This will give you more time to let voters get to know you and give you more time out of the limelight to hone your skills as a candidate.
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Also published on Medium.