We all start somewhere.
We have shared our first jobs, and for many on the Majority Strategies team, their first campaign experiences weren’t necessarily their first paid jobs.
More often than not, our team was volunteering for their local elected officials and getting their feet wet.
In this week’s edition of #MeetMajority, we asked some of the Majority Strategies team about their first-ever campaign experience, including what they learned, how they got involved, and how that experience benefits them today.
“After college, I was asked to join a local chapter of Young Republicans. A campaign manager for a state rep race came to one of our meetings to recruit volunteers to knock on doors.
“I volunteered and learned a lot about people, targeting, and messaging. Most people were polite at the door and took the palmcard I handed them without saying much. But some people wanted to talk about specific issues. I realized I needed to know more about the candidate and be prepared to convey his message and position on the issues individual voters cared about.
“Less than two years later, I landed a full-time job running all of the targeted state rep races for the state party. But I never forgot the lesson of learning an individual candidate’s position on issues and the importance of delivering his or her message on those issues to the targeted voters that are motivated to vote on them.”
Josh Kivett, National Strategist
“My first campaign experience was volunteering on Johnny Isakson’s 1990 campaign for governor. Growing up in Cobb County, Georgia, Johnny had been a longtime family friend and his first statewide campaign opened my eyes to campaigns at the volunteer grassroots level.
“Johnny treated everyone with such amazing respect and appreciation that you couldn’t help but want to do more for him. No one was too small or seemingly unimportant for him to personally talk to, thank, and encourage.
“He helped me get my first paid political gig with the Georgia Republican Party, and his support is one of the biggest reasons I chose campaigns and politics as my profession. Politics and elected office is a noble endeavor with many amazing people serving across the country, but you will not find a better person than Georgia’s senior United States Senator, Johnny Isakson. Truly a Damn Good Dawg!”
RJ Caster, Digital Operations Specialist
“The first campaign I ever became significantly involved with was for someone running for Maryland state delegate as the Tea Party favorite. Naturally, I became involved because I was trying to impress a girl who also happened to be the candidate’s campaign manager. No matter how many documentaries you watch or books you read, no one ever understands what goes into a campaign and the long hours required until you witness it firsthand. Whether you’re carrying out painstaking tasks like letter folding ‘parties,’ door knocking in remote areas, envelope sealing, collecting signatures, or making calls, you still gain a lot of valuable experience and knowledge.
“I also learned a valuable lesson in the importance of putting a team together and convincing volunteers to believe in the candidate so much that they will sacrifice their own time to help someone else reach their aspirations. No matter what office someone is running for, it’s important to build a small movement to get you there.”
Steven Aranyi, Strategy Director
“My first campaign experience came in the summer of 2014, when I very occasionally would knock doors for Bob Dold for U.S. Congress in Illinois’ 10th Congressional District, one of the most competitive districts in the country. After getting some experience, the first campaign that I delved into was Todd Young’s campaign for U.S. Senate in 2016.
“I had the opportunity to work with friends who volunteered on the campaign as well, and together we knocked on doors, made thousands of phone calls, and assisted the campaign’s communications team. The campaign gave me the opportunity to build relationships with staffers, volunteers, and members of the local community and was a very rewarding experience.”
Learn more about the Majority Strategies team:
#MeetMajority: Randy Kammerdiener
#MeetMajority: Josh Kivett
#MeetMajority: Our First Jobs