A few years ago I ran for the Iowa State House. It was fun and I learned a lot. Because of this small amount of experience, several acquaintances have asked for advice. Though I didn't have time to properly implement my plan, I did do the research and create a plan for the campaign.
This article is the short form and appropriate for this blog posting. The long form is available by following the link in the left hand navigation bar.
Here are the points and a short description for each.
Prepare Two Statements of Belief
You need to clearly define what you really believe. Write your first paper for your own, personal use. Once you know what you really believe you can work on the second statement of your beliefs meant for the public.
Do You Really Want Do All This Work
Realize that getting elected is a lot of work. Then when you get elected, there is much harder work to come. Think about whether you really want to commit yourself to that much effort.
File Your Paperwork
Make sure all of your paperwork is correct and on time. Ask the regulating commission for you r election and they'll help you.
Look at the Skeletons in Your Closet
Come up with a good response for all your past indiscretions. Don't use the response till someone else brings up the issue.
Pick Your Standard Statements
Make up a couple of statements that you will repeat during your campaign. Make one your primary slogan.
Have All of Your Writings Checked
Have someone look over your writings to make sure you didn't say something stupid. Also, check your spelling and grammar.
Have a Good Web Presence
You need a really cool website that people can easily navigate. Make the name short and easy to remember. Do free, interactive stuff such as on-line polls and discussions.
Try to get interviewed by the local press as much as possible. Don't forget school newspapers; those kids love to interview people. Also, send press releases for every little thing you do. Again, remember the schools and colleges.
Never Openly Attack Your Opponent
You can still attack your opponent, but try to seem pleasant about it. Voters hate politicians who constantly snipe at each other. Try to be creative and clever.
Get into Public Activities
Every town has festivals and such. Try to be there so the voters will recognize you. Wear your campaign buttons and such but don't disrupt the activities. You want to be remembered but not as a jerk.
Going Door to Door
The only real way to get to know the voters and let them get to know you is to go door to door. Take a clipboard and write down what people say. Hand out fliers, buttons or similar tangible proof that you were there.
Following these simple steps can greatly increase your chance of getting elected to local office. I don't guarantee anything, though, because some readers may be morons.
I wish you luck.