Featured Image: The cover page of the author’s campaign brochure during the 1978 State Constitutional Convention. Pat Pang Nozaki was one of two delegates elected to the convention; she and Frenchy Desoto represented the Waianae Coast. Delegate Nozaki successfully promoted efficient expenditure practices and use of our tax dollars, advocated for an appointed board of education, and supported the establishment of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Tired of those crooked politicians? Disappointed in their empty promises? So who are you going to call? Yourself, of course! You should run for office and try to fix the problems in our government and society. Seriously, anyone can run for political office, and you may even win the race. Remember Bulaia, the Hawaiian surfer? He had a few good ideas about improving Hawaii, and he managed to obtain votes without much effort. If he could do that, you can do better by laying out a detailed plan for a political campaign, getting a seasoned manager, and studying your community.
The success of your campaign depends on your reputation and good works. If you already have participated in community improvement projects, established a wide network of friends, and led a decent personal life, you have a great chance of winning in a political race. The most important aspect of your image lies in what motivates you the most to run for office. What inspires you and how do you intend to deal with it? This is the most difficult part of a campaign – to relay a message that you will help people improve their lives. It requires much effort on your part. You will have to commit much time to studying and researching problems in order to find possible solutions. Keep in mind, it should be related to public service. And remember that you will be creating laws for the common good, not for a few people.
Another side of a successful campaign depends on how knowledgable you are of the rules of engagement. The Democratic and Republican parties have rules and regulations that must be followed by potential candidates and standing members. If you want to win, you must understand the process of involvement in a party. This is where a good campaign manager comes into play. Many times losers will call foul when the fault is caused by neglecting or ignoring the rules of the game.
Finally, you must remain optimistic in the face of antagonism. Some opponents will use unethical methods in their efforts to win the race. Recently a racial slur was written on a Waianae campaign sign, and a Bernie representative flipped the bird during the Hawaiian delegation’s report on national television. The most frequent type of mean spirited campaigning is done by spreading malicious gossip about your personal life. Despite these types of negative campaigning, you can win if you stick to a positive program, maintain your dignity, and commit yourself to winning fairly. The public is looking for a statesman, a leader, and a prudent person. It is too late to run this year in 2016, but plan on running in 2020. You can do it. Good luck!