Winning the political game: Making the decision to run

With municipal elections this year in Utah and political hopefuls eyeing numerous races next year, it’s decision-making time for prospective candidates.

Numerous city council and mayoral positions are up for grabs this year. The municipal filing deadline is Wednesday.

Seeking public office can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It can also play havoc with your personal and professional life. If you are considering running for elective office, you should take the following test. Answering these tough questions will give you a better perspective on many of the elements involved in making that decision.

The big question is: why do you want to run for office?

a.     Do you have a desire for or interest in public service?

b.     Do you have strong feelings on a number of key issues?

c.     Do you feel there is a need for a change in leadership?

d.     Do you think you can do a better job than the incumbent?

e.     Can you answer the question of why you want to run for office in one sentence?

The following are some factors to consider.

1.    Do you have a strong sense of your own worth and believe in yourself?

2.    Can you ask friends, family, associates for money and other assistance?

3.    Can you withstand criticism and have your personal life closely scrutinized?

4.     Can you quickly learn city issues and be prepared to discuss them in debates?

5.    How does your family feel about your running for office? Are they 150% behind you?

6.    What will happen to your job while you run? Can you put in the amount of time necessary to win?

7.    Can you face the thought of being defeated?

8.    Have you thought carefully about the amount of stress, expense and exhaustion that are part of political campaigns?

Take a moment and evaluate yourself.

1.    Do you like people? 

2.    Are you personable? 

3.    Do you like meeting people?

4.    Do you speak well in public?

5.    Can you respond quickly and analyze a situation under pressure?

6.    Can you handle frustration?

7.    Are you in good health?

If you answered YES to the above questions, you are ready to think about the next step in running for office. Campaigns take skill and commitment. There is some luck, but mostly it is hard work.