How Jackie Biskupski Beat Ralph Becker

Jackie BiskupskiHow did Jackie Biskupski earn a slim 1,194 victory over two-term incumbent Ralph Becker to become Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor?

Biskupski’s campaign manager Lindsay Barenz co-authored a post-mortem in on Biskupski’s campaign which detailed how they used a “person-to-person” voter contact operation and utilized polling data to effectively target voters to pull off the win.

Here’s an excerpt, but the whole article is worth a read:

There was a widely held sense that the mayor didn’t listen to regular people and that dealing with city government was painful. There were also explosive feelings around micro issues, like golf courses (the city proposed to close), bike lanes (poorly configured), and parking meters (expensive and hard to use). 


Engaging in conversations about issues, rather than delivering a prefabricated lecture, is a more difficult conversation for volunteers to have. Training volunteers to have these conversations requires a greater investment of time but the outcome of these conversations is far more valuable. Initially, volunteers may be afraid because, of course, they don’t know the candidate’s position on every issue. But there’s no harm in a volunteer saying: “I don’t know the candidate’s position on that issue. I’ll get back to you.” The key is following up.