I came in second last in the race for school board trustee. Not bad for my first time and a $170 budget.
My final total was 571 votes. I was really only expecting to get 200 votes! I was left to wonder “who were the 571 people who voted for me”? I have to admit that I do not know 571 people in my Ward. It was a happy surprise to get support from them.
How to spend $0.30 per vote in an election
I spent my $170 on the following
- $60 on this website
- $90 on a three-day facebook ad
This cost doesn’t include my time of course or registration. I did the following to “get my name out there”.
- Attended two debates
- Was a guest on two ethnic radio stations
- Did one newspaper interview
- Made a facebook page and invited my friends to join
- Knocked on 30 doors in my neighborhood to get the required signatures (25)
- Spent $100 on registration papers and $2 on parking.
What was the point of running then?
I really do believe that the public school system is flawed and I want to make a difference.
However, after identifying who was running in the race, I realized that I would need a lot more time and a lot more money than I had.
Like any other venture, I had to survey the competition and decide on a strategy. I had to pivot. I decided my best bet would be to learn from this experience and see what my cost per vote would be for next election cycle.
Now I know I need 10,000 votes in a crowded field and should be prepared to spend $4000 and have a team of volunteers.
After testing the waters with special interest groups, I know how to deal with them.
This has been an excellent learning experience, and one day, I’ll be Prime Minister of Canada or President of Ghana. Maybe both ;’)