With the conclusion of the runoff for San Antonio’s municipal elections, there are several key takeaways for future candidates. Here are just a few things that prospective candidates across the country should keep in mind when considering a political campaign.
Much like the recent elections in Fort Worth, every incumbent was re-elected in San Antonio. This is common in cities without major scandals, so it is typically wise to wait for term limits or a shift in public opinion to give you better odds. With a well-run campaign, a good candidate can shift public opinion, but most voters are content with their local officials.
Money Matters, But Reputation Matters More
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg raised approximately $600,000 for his last two elections and outraised his opponent by a factor of three to one in this election cycle. Even still, he narrowly hung onto his seat. Challenger (and city councilmember) Greg Brockhouse led a campaign focused on painting Nirenberg as “out of touch,” driving public opinion of the incumbent as he led his campaign. This hurt the mayor’s reputation and helped to close the gap in the polls to within 2% of the total vote.
Digital Media Indicates Serious Campaigns
Both of the candidates managed their social media very effectively to target key voters and welcome new supporters into their coalitions. Both runoff candidates ran campaign websites that were professional and easy to navigate, with their platforms clearly displayed and well-developed. This helped get their message in front of more people, especially those that may not be as technologically experienced. In the digital age, there is no excuse for not having a professional campaign website or a strong social media game. You can always get a consulting agency to set them up and/or manage them for you, which could free up valuable time and resources for you to run GOTV efforts and canvas neighborhoods.
If you need help with your city council or mayoral campaign, give us a call. Our experienced team of political experts can get you on the right track to victory and will provide you with great service at a low cost.