Finding the Candidates
According to Bunin, two good places to find prospective candidates are local government meetings and the letters to the editor columns of local newspapers. The people found through both avenues not only know and care about relevant issues, Bunin said, they have or make time in their schedules to address those issues.
One of the association's top prospects for San Luis Obispo's mayoral race was Dave Romero, a retired city employee serving on the city council. Romero had run for the mayor's seat before and lost by a narrow margin. Another top prospect was Paul Brown, a small business owner and local activist seeking a spot on the council.
Campaign School: Giving Them the Information They Need
After identifying Romero, Brown and other viable candidates, the association brought in political experts from NAHB to run a campaign school tailored especially to the local office seekers. The two-day campaign school presented sessions on budgeting, fundraising, voter targeting, survey research and voter contact as well as individual sessions where candidates could work on specific elements of campaignig, such as designing direct mail pieces or finding voter lists.
In small local races where incumbents had an easy advantage in name recognition, Bunin said the lessons provided through the campaign school in several cases made the difference between winning and losing.
Pro-Housing Mayor Elected
Dave Romero, the city councilman, made housing a focal point of his campaign and won San Luis Obispo's mayoral race last Nov. 5. Central Coast Executive Officer Jennifer Phillip believes the campaign school was the reason behind his successful run for mayor. In a near victory, political novice Paul Brown came close to defeating a 20-year incumbent for a city council seat.
The Home Builders Association of the Central Coast plans to build on its success in 2002 by raising the profile of the political action committee, continuing to identify solid candidates and offering additional campaign schools.
For more information on the HBA's political activities, contact Jerry Bunin at 805-546-0226 or via e-mail. To learn more about NAHB's campaign school, call Alastair Macaulay at 800-368-5242 x8584 or via e-mail. To visit the Web site of the HBA of the Central Coast, click here.
[ Go to Top ]