Time to start thinking about running for political office

Column by Joe Webb
Posted 4/6/21

Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two-part column on how and why to run for local office. If you read a lot of media in this state, the overwhelming theme about the Colorado Republican Party is …

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Time to start thinking about running for political office

Posted

Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two-part column on how and why to run for local office.

If you read a lot of media in this state, the overwhelming theme about the Colorado Republican Party is that it is either dead or on life support. That is because of a long series of disappointing electoral losses.

While it is true there have been losses, I have been given the advice more than a few times that the best time to start a business is during a recession. Applying this to the political world, the best time to run for office as a Republican is when your party is on the ropes.

Jefferson County will choose seven elected officials in the November 2022 election. They are assessor, clerk & recorder, commissioner in District 3, coroner, sheriff, surveyor and treasurer.

The redistricting commission selected through Amendments Y and Z will always be redrawing the boundaries for districts in both houses of the legislature and congressional districts. Colorado will be getting an additional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives due to our population growth.

The work of the redistricting commission will be complete this fall, and the boundaries of those districts will become public knowledge. Until then, any such conversation about them will be speculative.

What I wish to do both this month and next month is describe the process of candidacy from the seed of an idea to successful election. I am doing this because I like the idea of walk-ons to a team actually winning a starting position.

If you are an ordinary citizen, with a little luck, but mostly hard work and determination, you too can win political office and serve our county and state with the aim of making it a better place to live. The term “establishment” is unnecessarily thrown around to suggest that the political process on the Republican side is filled with people who will thwart you at every turn if you have political ambitions. That isn’t the case.

The much vaunted “establishment” is just a name tossed about to label others with whom the name caller disagrees. You would think as a former party chair that I am “establishment,” but I assure you I am not.

Finally, if you have ambitions of running for office, the time to at least think about it is now. If you wish to think about running, two questions need to be asked. What am I qualified to do and what do I wish to accomplish in office?

I myself have never worked in law enforcement or surveying, therefore I would be unqualified to run for the position of sheriff or surveyor. If you wish to make a statement about the national debt, a run for Congress or U.S. senator would be a more appropriate office to seek rather than a county office.

Figure out where you would best serve and then begin the process of exploring a candidacy.

In the beginning, before you decide to run, you ought to survey the field and figure out what will happen. Who else may be contemplating a run for the office you seek? Does the office you seek have an incumbent? What could be a good campaign strategy?

These are questions you should ask either the Jeffco GOP chair or the Jeffco Democratic chair. Introducing yourself to the local party chair is a good starting point for information. You should also ask yourself a question: What is the worst thing that anyone can say about you? Negative campaigning is a reality. You ought to have a hard look at what could be placed about you in the media.

Next month, I will speak about fundraising, and what should be done to succeed in both the primary and general election.

Joe Webb is the former chairman of the Jeffco Republican Party.

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