In politics, children are good for ecology, they aren’t something you use and throw away; they can be used over and over.
Who could have resisted an adorable two year old asking you to “Please vote my daddy”with the tagline “he cares about Lakeland’s future.”
Well 394 people too many resisted and it was at that UnVictory party that Howard had to explain to her that he didn’t win.
It was actually a good thing, because he would’ve been the guy who killed Peggy Brown, the Cookie Madame; instead he was elected to the Lakeland City Commission two years later where he served with his staunchest ally, Peggy Brown.
After 21 years on the Lakeland City Commission, my husband decided to run for Mayor. The 15 month campaign was like a $95,000 corporation. We had a campaign manager, a deputy campaign manager, an advisory board, a marketing committee, and interns. We raised the money with fund raisers and from asking for donations. We spent the money on direct mail postcards, yard signs, 4 x 4 signs, a few radio ads, t-shirts. Then we closed the corporation after the election, with the help of our treasurer who made sure all the forms and moneys were well documented.
Our team each took the well deserved credit for the win. Social media, interns waving signs, door-to-door team, advertising campaign and many groups of constituencies.
I think he won because he was committed to his Pro-Business, Pro-Family, Pro-Lakeland platform and he worked like a mono maniac with a mission. My main goal for the election was that he wouldn’t die.
Before election day, we talked about the campaign. We decided that win or lose, it was good for our marriage. We were working together on those committees. I went with him to the events, although not as much door-to-door. We strategized together at night. He would ask my input as he practiced his speeches.
I have learned much being the Political Wife for 27 years (of our 32 year marriage).
–people aren’t as aware of your campaign as you.
-when they are aware, they are looking out for what you will do for them, their issue, their cause.
-people won’t care about you, until they know how much you care.
-It is a family affair and it’s crucial to have the support of the people you love.
I was valued as his confidant, coach, political psychologist, message tweeker, security detail. It was even more fulfilling because we were friends and partners, and that was helpful during the action packed and stressful campaign.
We are in the throws of the Olympics of Elections this year. Next year, Lakeland will be electing a new Mayor and a couple of City Commissioners. My advice to anyone who is considering running: want it, work for it, win it and do the great job people count on you to do. Surround yourself with wise counsel and reach out,touch the folks. And enjoy the process and stay alive.