Consider this a freebie from your friendly neighborhood LionStar (with apologies to Spiderman for jackin' his line). I've been watching several of the campaigns flounder around for a while like a fish that just got yanked in to the boat. I feel bad for you so let me help you out with a few things.
I realize that city council races are like amateur hour around here. Think about it, its where the weirdos usually get their start...before they decide they want to be weirdos and run for Congress. So its like the Triple A of politics. You get to see them before they get an actual audience and embarrass themselves and El Paso on a bigger stage.
But seriously, can you people at least try to act like a real campaign? Oh, and while I'm ranting, media people, please stop calling the anti-baseball people "grass roots". They aren't. Grassroots is a compliment and it implies organization and effectiveness. Neither of which they are.
Sorry for going off on a tangent.
Here are some do's and don'ts to help you out.
Do get a campaign manager. You don't have to pay a lot of money but you should certainly pay them what they are worth. And you should get someone who's actually won an election.
Do listen to the campaign manager. I've seen plenty of good campaigns go out the window because the candidate doesn't freakin' listen. There are a lot of people who should be in office right now if they would only have listened to their campaign manager. They didn't so they aren't.
Do raise money or do spend your own. Guess what? Most of the time, he who has the most money, wins. So raise some money.
Do dress like you're going to be a city rep. For some reason, candidates in El Paso are a strange breed. You'd think dressing professionally would be a no-brainer but if you've ever done any amount of people-watching in El Paso politics you know what I mean. Don't show up in shorts and chanclas and expect to be taken seriously. Yes thats really happened. Don't dress like a weirdo or show up with props. Also really happened. And I'm not being sexist here, don't dress like a hoochie-mamma. Booty shorts and low cut shirts are not appropriate attire for a candidate. As much of a fan of booty shorts and low cut shirts as I am, you aren't going to get taken seriously dressed like that. But you will get checked out. Probably by me. Don't get mad at me though, you know what you are doing when you wear that stuff so don't be offended when I look at what you are showing. Just saying.
Do have an understanding of what city council does. They deal with street lights, stop signs, speed bumps, zoning, code enforcement, parks, etc. They do not have anything to do with education, other governmental bodies, bad drivers from New Mexico, or auditing the fed. Sorry Libertarians, I pick on you guys when I'm bored and you do it to me too, lol.
Seriously, you really need to understand what the job deals with. Nothing makes you sound less informed, and therefore less electable, than saying you're going to do something you are completely incapable of doing as a member of a given body.
Don't spend all your time "campaigning" on Facebook. That's not campaigning. Stay the hell off of Facebook. There is nothing to gain by playing around on Facebook. Go knock on doors.
Don't depend on a website. Very few people will go to your website. Trust me, I learned the hard way on that one.
Don't run if you are not physically well. And by that I mean don't run if you are not able to block-walk regularly or if you have some diagnosed mental condition. I shouldn't have to write this one, but its El Paso and I therefore must. Sad but true.
Don't wait until January. For most of you reading this, its already too late. The idea that people aren't paying attention because of the holidays is just silly. You want to win, you have to work for it. You have to walk when you're opponent is sitting on their butt eating tamales and empanadas for the holidays. If you're serious about campaigning and winning you can't realistically expect to wait until 90 days before early voting. Not if you a running to win. If you are running to make a point, well no one is going to care anyway so spend as little as you can, play on FB all day, and go to every candidate forum and debate.
Don't feel like you need to go to every forum or debate. Guess what, you're going to see the same people at every forum. And most of the time the candidate's family and entourage outnumber the people in attendance. Most of the time everyone in the room already has their mind made up. So go out and block walk and talk to people who's mind you can change.
Don't align yourself with losers. You know the people. The bitter contrarians angry at the city for fill-in-the-blank problem.
Don't worry about endorsements. If it doesn't come with money then don't even be concerned about it. Unless its the El Paso Times. That one you should care about.
Don't forget to make sure your signage is right. I write the same piece every election cycle and always bust someone for their signs not being in compliance. You'd think you people would get it right by now. You must have "for" the office you are running for, you must have the disclaimer. And no, it can't have just the number 4 instead of the word. I'm looking at you Ernesto Villanueva!
Don't run over and over. If you lost a couple of times, take the hint. The voters don't want you.
I'll post more if I think of anything else.