Run People With Roots

Jim Geraghty notes:

…last night a Republican and a Republican-endorsed independent won two of six seats on the Alexandria, Va., City Council, the first ones elected to the city’s governing board since 2000.
The city-council race was actually the fourth recent contest in which Northern Virginia Republicans overperformed, in a region that went heavily for Barack Obama last fall….I spoke with Michael Ginsberg, chairman of the Eighth Congressional District Republican Committee, which includes Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax, about what lessons can be learned from last night’s results and the recent trend.
“We ran people with good, local roots, and they’ve been very active in this community for a long time,” Ginsberg said. “You don’t come in third (out of 10 candidates, as Republican Frank Fannon did) unless you’ve got strong support from independents, and working the polls yesterday, I saw Democrats who said they were going to vote for Fannon.”

Now, RI ain’t VA, but the idea that political success comes from running local candidates who are truly of their community has always rung true with me.

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14 years ago

Herein lies one of the problems. You get people with the greatest of intentions, but have no political experience and they figure they’re going to take on Kennedy or Reed. These are people who have never even run for school committee before. The GOP really should use the strategy like major league baseball and focus totally on the lower level, the rookie leagues. Get people elected to their school committees and town councils. Start making real change at the local level. If you have 7 people on the school committee, and you win 1-2 seats, that’s a lot more powerful than winning 10 seats in the General Assembly. Focus on getting some fiscal conservatives in the local seats, do some financial clean up for two terms of office and then move on to the next level. Once you have the experience and name recognition, then move up. The state GOP needs to use this strategy and have a long term plan. Focus on the next 8-10 years, not just the next year.

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