Many candidates for local office confuse having a campaign slogan with having a campaign platform.
The two are very different. A slogan fits on a bumper sticker. A campaign platform is defined as how a political party or candidate will address various issues if they are elected.
Writing a campaign slogan is easy. Creating a sheriff campaign platform is a lot tougher. It requires more detail and should provide potential solutions to real problems.
There are two key questions you’ll need to answer before you can create your messaging: Who are my targeted voters? And what issues and problems do they care most about?
Those answers will help identify the important social and political issues related to law enforcement in your community. Use these issues to create planks for your own political platform.
Here are some local voter issues that may be important for sheriff candidates:
- Engagement of law enforcement in the community.
- Eliminating neighborhood conditions that create an environment which cultivates crime.
- Citizens involvement in and trust in their local sheriff office.
- Providing citizens with a law enforcement agency that is responsive to their needs.
- Inter-agency communication to improve crime prevention and control.
- Updating technology to improve communication and costs.
The order of your platform matters. Address the most important issues first.
Often, candidates tend to regurgitate the standard positions of their political party. This keeps things simple for the majority of voters who don’t bother to read candidate platforms. To differentiate yourself, you’ll want to explain your own unique position, tailored to the situation of your community. What skills or experience do bring to address each issue? This is what help give voters a reason to support you.
A sheriff campaign platform can not only declare what you stand for, but it can be used to compare yourself to an opponent. Is the incumbent not handling an issue properly? How would you do it differently – and what would be the benefit to voters?
Your platform should be unique to you and your community. In local politics, one size does not fit all!
Time to start writing…