How to Become a Pro-liberty State Representative
Do you like liberty? Do you want to get involved with the system and make a difference? Would you like to be a State Representative? If you answered yes to all three questions, continue reading because I know how to make it happen.
I’ve been involved with dozens of campaigns. Many of those campaigns were successful campaigns for State Representative in New Hampshire. Before I go into the how to get elected part, I’ll explain why you have the best chances of getting elected in NH.
• NH has 400 State Reps. No other state has even close to 400 State Reps. NH has a State Rep for every 3200 people. No other state has anything close to a State Rep per person ratio as low as NH.
• Many State Reps in NH are in very large, multi-seat districts. Some of the districts include fourteen seats. The number of districts and sizes of the districts encourage large swings in which State Reps are elected from election to election.
• Because of these factors, being an incumbent is a less important factor in determining reelection in NH than anywhere else. Nationally, state legislators are reelected at a 94% rate; in 2008, NH’s turnover was 34.5%.
• NH has the most competitive State Rep races. In 2008, nearly 10% of all competitive legislative races in the US were in NH.
• The average State Rep in the US costs $68,490. In NH, State Rep races are the least expensive at just $4,472 on average. To put this in perspective, the cost of all 400 State Rep races in NH is nearly equal to the cost of just one State Rep race in Texas.
• State Reps in NH receive a salary of $200 per term instead of over $100,000 per year like in several other states. With such low pay, the legislators are more like volunteers, not career politicians.
• Being born in NH isn’t a factor in an election. 57% of Granite Staters were not born in NH. Around 300 NH State Reps were not born in NH.
• Most importantly, liberty candidates are more likely to get elected in NH than anywhere else. In 2010, 119 pro-liberty State Reps were elected.
• NH is the freest state according to 2009 and 2011 surveys.
• NH voters vote for anti-tax candidates for legislative offices. In 2009, adults were asked if they would be more likely to vote for a candidate if the candidate wanted to increase property taxes, sales taxes or income taxes. Only 6%, 24% and 31% of NH adults said yes to the questions.
• Perhaps you do not agree with my assessment. Here is an alternative point of view which basically reaches the same conclusions.
How to Run for Office
1. The easiest way is to move to a multi-seat district that leans overwhelmingly Republican in elections. These are typically large towns in NH that don't have wards. So for example, if a town had 19,000 people but didn't have wards it could be a 5 to 7 rep district.
2. Become well liked in the town by political insiders by attending GOP political events and being nice to everyone while having a nice appearance and not saying anything radical. So for example, if you have 38 pro-liberty bumper stickers on your car, take them off. Do not yell, berate, curse at or preach to people. I cannot stress this enough, you must be genuinely accepted by the community. If you truly are a good neighbor and want to do what is right for the community, you will be accepted.
3. Volunteer in the community on a local board or two. Network with various community organizations. Before you run for office, help on a campaign of a near-by pro-liberty politician that is liked by the community.
4. After a few years, run for office the way the Leadership Institute recommends; there is a 5 day training event that LI gives for people considering a run for office. Attend this event. Also, attend the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance or similar training events with your campaign manager.
5. Fill out the surveys for the local gun groups, the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, NHLA, New Hampshire Republican Volunteer Coalition, Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire and sign the Tax Pledge. If you do this right, you should get a lot of endorsements, some campaign donations and even volunteers.
6. As long as you do all of that and actually run for office the way the LI recommends, which is time consuming, you are very likely to get elected. Keep in mind that it may take a couple tries to get elected.
Of course, regardless of what position you run for or where you live, don't lie. Be honest with yourself and with the voters. Run you campaign on popular issue that both you and the voters agree on. In New Hampshire, most voters support things such as no increased property taxes, no increased sales taxes, no increased income taxes and medical marijuana. Find out what other issues are important in your community and become a leader in those issues.