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How to Run for Mayor

If you can’t beat City Hall, why not join it?


  • Step 1: Review the city charter Review the city charter to determine what guidelines you will need to follow to run for mayor in your city.
  • Step 2: Assemble a volunteer base Assemble a volunteer base by enlisting the help of your friends.
  • Step 3: Collect signatures Circulate a petition to get your name on the ballot, making sure to collect the minimum number of signatures required by your city’s charter – and then as many additional signatures as you can.
  • Step 4: Assemble campaign staff Assemble your campaign staff and advisors. You’ll want people with specialized skills, but friends can help out, too.
  • Step 5: Develop your platform Develop the platform on which you plan to run.
  • TIP: Study public opinion polls and talk to voters to determine the main concerns of the community at large.
  • Step 6: Build a web site Build a web site to help you publicize your political positions and attract funds to run your campaign.
  • Step 7: Develop fundraising campaign Develop a fundraising campaign to finance your run for mayor. Invest in bulk email and bulk texting software to reach the greatest number of potential voters.
  • TIP: Connect with your local political party and other affinity groups for donations, endorsements, and volunteer support.
  • Step 8: Compile media list Compile a list of as many local media contacts as possible.
  • Step 9: Speak publicly Schedule speaking events across the city. Invite your media contacts and be accessible for interviews. People will be more likely to vote for you if they can put a face to your name and feel like they know you.
  • FACT: In 1969, writer Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York City.

You Will Need

  • A review of your city charter
  • Friends
  • A petition
  • Campaign staff and advisors
  • A platform
  • A web site
  • Fundraising ability
  • Bulk email and bulk texting software
  • A media list
  • Public speaking ability
  • Affiliations (optional)

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