12 Aug Why Not Run For Local Office First?
This has probably been the most frequently asked question of my fledgling campaign. The traditional path usually involves running for City Council or County Magistrate and serve there first. Once you’ve established yourself locally, it’s expected that one should run for statewide office next. After you’re more well known and have more campaign donations in your war chest, then you can consider a federal run.
Simply put, I don’t like that model. It’s commendable that some choose to serve in such a way, but I disagree with the notion that it’s the only path. It seems to me that those who follow such channels often end up forgetting their principles and the people who elected them. Leaders at the local and state level are generally more in touch with their constituents than those at the federal level.
The preferred political trajectory also allows good people to become entrenched in the political machine and those who are entrenched don’t challenge the status quo. I’ve heard it said that the most dangerous phrase in any organization is “we’ve always done it this way” and I believe that to be true. The politics of today is not working for American citizens, especially those in Kentucky’s congressional 5th district. Nearly 30% of counties in this district face some of the most extreme poverty in the nation and have for decades.
America needs leaders, not political yes men and it seems to me that the traditional path into politics has given us too few of the former and an abundance of the latter. I’m determined to challenge that model and inspire more citizen leaders to step forward despite the odds.