November 8, 2016

What I Learned From Running For Elected Office and Winning

Donald Trump, #TrumpTrain, #MAGA, Ivanka Trump, Lawyer Lookbook
With my family after taking the oath of office.  (All photos snapped on my iPhone).

I am convinced that everyone needs to be involved in the political process whether it be in the form of running for office or volunteering with a political campaign.  I am convinced that if everyone knew just how much work is involved, more people would care and more people would vote for qualified candidates.  With the presidential election happening today (thank goodness), I thought I would share my experience running for elected office.

My Experience Running for Elected Office and Winning 
Running for elected office is something I never thought I would do, especially in my twenties.  This past February, an opportunity became available and I decided to take a leap and go for it.  Our incumbent Town Court Clerk resigned two years into his four-year term and the position was vacant.  I was contacted by a lot of people to "throw my name in the hat", but blew it off at first.  I was an attorney in private practice with my brother.  The last thing I wanted to do was run for office, but, even worse, be called a "politician."

The more I thought about this particular position, the more it seemed to be a good career move with my legal background and skill set.  I did a ton of research and spoke with a lot of people about the position.  Everyone I talked to really encouraged me to go for it.  So, I went for it.  Since my predecessor resigned halfway into his term, our Town Council had to immediately appoint an Interim before the next election (which was in August, 2016).  Usually, people spend months deciding whether or not to run for elected office.  I had to make a decision in less than two weeks- which is nuts!  I have been very involved in local politics and have helped on several campaigns, but had no intention of running for anything, at least not at this point in my life.  I applied for the Interim with several other highly qualified applicants, and was granted an interview.  

The Interview Process for Interim
The interview felt like a Senate confirmation hearing (ok, maybe not that dramatic, but it was unlike any other job interview I had ever been on!).  I sat at a table facing 7 elected Council members, including our Mayor, and they all threw out questions for about an hour.  To my left, sat our Town HR Director, Town Attorney, Town Manager and several others.  Oh, and interviews were open to the public..  A local newspaper reporter and others were in the audience.  After experiencing that interview, I'm pretty sure I can handle any interview. Fortunately, I was unanimously appointed that night to serve as the Interim through September (2016), and agreed to run for the office in August.  My career changed drastically in a matter of two weeks.  I started serving as the Interim Town Court Clerk in March, then went to Paris less than two weeks later for a trip that had been planned for months.  In the meantime, I had to file my official qualifying papers with the Election Commission, which included getting 50 signatures of registered voters that live in city limits (easier said than done).
Donald Trump, #TrumpTrain, #MAGA, Ivanka Trump, Lawyer Lookbook
Taking the oath of office as the Interim, February, 2016.  
Donald Trump, #TrumpTrain, #MAGA, Ivanka Trump, Lawyer Lookbook
Celebrating with a few close friends.  Sorry for the quality- snapped on my iPhone!

The Campaign
I had to hit the ground running and get the word out very early on.  We attended every community event possible.  I sent out letters and had to fundraise so that I could put up signs all around town.  Fortunately, my brother has successfully run for office several times, so he was in charge of the campaign.  He is a genius when it comes to making neighborhood walking lists and targeting key voters to turn them out to vote.  When he ran for office, we spent about eight Saturdays in a row in August knocking on hundreds of doors (which is brutal!!!).  I lucked out and did not have to go door-to-door.  

For the most part, I had a positive experience.  Running for office is not something most people get excited about, but we have to have more educated people, more business people, and more women to fill these positions at the local, state and federal level (with that being said, I never vote for someone solely based on gender- I have to agree with the platform and policies).   
Donald Trump, #TrumpTrain, #MAGA, Ivanka Trump, Lawyer Lookbook
Taking the oath of office as the newly-elected Town Court Clerk.  My mom held my great-grandmother's Bible.
Donald Trump, #TrumpTrain, #MAGA, Ivanka Trump, Lawyer Lookbook
My wonderful staff surprised me with this cake when the election results came back! 

Be Informed and Go Vote
There are so many countries in which women are not allowed to vote.  In 2016, there is no excuse to not be informed, or, to not vote.  You can Google candidates 24/7 in the comfort of your own home.  You can live-stream just about any meeting and see where candidates stand on issues.  We have so many wonderful freedoms here in America, and the First and Nineteenth Amendments are just a couple.  :-)

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I would love to know your thoughts, or, if you have any questions! :-)

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  1. Wow, I had no idea you did this! You are amazing and so inspiring!

  2. So proud of you Brittany!! Just because you're in politics doesn't mean you're a "politician". Best of luck in your new role!

  3. This is so awesome! Congratulations and best of luck! xx Caitlin, Dash of Darling

  4. This was such a great story! Thanks so much for sharing

  5. What an honor. Your family must be extremely proud of you. This is a perfect example of stepping out on faith. Congratulations!

  6. Brittany, this is amazing!!! Congratulations! #goals!!!

  7. This is my favorite blog post to date!! How amazing!!

  8. that's amazing, it's so interesting to see this process!