Thursday, February 9, 2012
On Feb. 2, Leadership Monterey Peninsula kicked off Candidate School 2012 at Marina’s Shoreline Conference Center. Nearly 17 participants arrived, notebooks in hand, to hear county Elections Services Specialist Susan Orman and political analysts Dawn Wilson and Ed Kilgore speak about the intricacies of running for public office.
“Part of the reason we’re doing this is to get more people to run,” LMP Executive Director Karen Csejtey said at the start of the meeting.
The class is designed to cover virtually everything an aspiring political candidate should know, such as bureaucratic and ethical requirements, fundraising, connecting with constituents and campaign planning.
Participants included teachers, small-business owners, a homemaker and a fire chief. Several students, like Jay Roland, who previously ran for the Monterey Airport Board, are LMP alums who enjoyed the program so much last year they’ve returned for another round. About half the students said they plan to run for office in the near future.
One of them, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Board Member Jon Hill, says the training should be helpful for his re-election campaign: “I appreciated the presentation by the political consultants.”
Daniel McCormick, a consultant for Carmel City Councilman and mayoral candidate Jason Burnett, says the class offers him greater insight into the upcoming presidential election. “It’s really interesting to learn how candidates are being fed information,” he says, “and to hear what they’re hearing from the perspective of a consultant.”