I have been campaigning for our local school district now, going on my third year. I learned alot from my first campaign effort in 2011. We had a great slate of candidates to run against the incumbants, but with all of us having little experience running a campaign, we spent a lot of time spinning our wheels with efforts that could have been concentrated on something else.
I think we have a great start to the 2013 North Penn School Board race because we never stopped campaigning at the end of the election in 2011. We continued to stay active attending school district meetings, meeting voters, reading articles, and attending training sessions. And then things really fell into place when along with our campaign manager, several other volunteers stepped up their efforts to help us.
The primary election season went very quiet compared to 2011. In 2011, the incumbants chose to employ a strategy that they hoped would infuriate the voters and eliminate us from any kind of competition. They chose to use the picture of a handgun, to promote their school board re-election campaign. It was truly an offensive piece of literature, accusing myself and fellow running mates, that if elected, we would be “committing armed robbery” on the taxpayers. To quote one of the former board members (he lost his re-election bid, most likely due to this flyer), “we had a message to get out, and we got that message out.”
I will never forget that smugness. With annual reports of gun violence in schools, to promote the election of the leadership of the school district using a picture of a murder weapon had no place, not just in local politics, but any politics.
2013 is considered an off-year for elections. There is no presidential race, no election for governor or any other high profile office. But North Penn School District is the 6th largest school district in the state of Pennyslvania. It should come as no surprise that our school district election has attracted alot of attention. Other school districts are watching to see how a mostly Republican dominated school board stands up to a huge challenge of its power by genuine vested members of the community. Local government officials are paying attention to this race. Off-years generally produce the lowest voter turn-out. But with the momentum from 2011’s election, we are hoping to prove that theory wrong.
The primary this year was indeed very quiet. Even the election day itself went without issue with the exception of a few questionable tactics by poll-workers representing the party of the school board. There was not even any newspaper coverage.
Well, the Summer is half over now, and as the school district makes preparations for the upcoming school year, it is also a time for our campaign, to line up on the starter blocks. We have a huge undertaking on our hands taking on a monstrous machine in the form of the four incumbants. But we, as candidates, who also happen to be parents of North Penn students, home owners and taxpayers, believe that this is the year, to finally make educating the students of North Penn a priority in the decisions that aer made by the district.
It has been over a month and a half since the election, but last night, we got our feet “wet” again with an invitation to another local office’s campaign. It felt different than two years ago, when we were trying to get ourselves “known” to the public. Now I was being introduced as someone with an opinion and direction that matter.