Building A Municipal Election Kitchen Cabinet

A “Kitchen Cabinet” advisory group for political candidates is not ground breaking. The first Kitchen Cabinet was formed by U.S. President Andrew Jackson in 1831. In Australia they’ve created a reality political show about it and in Britain the media use the term as a reference for the Prime Minister’s inner circle.   Another fun fact is that Ronald Reagan’s Kitchen Cabinet included Joseph Coors of the Coors Brewing Company. A Kitchen Cabinet is a group of trusted friends and advisors who a politician or candidate can consult with privately on important strategies and issues.


For Municipal Election candidates your Kitchen Cabinet should start in your actual kitchen.  This group of confidants should remain small and trustworthy.   Your Kitchen Cabinet will most likely not include a national beer baron but will include community volunteers, soccer mums, PTA parents and local seniors.

A good Kitchen Cabinet for a Municipal Councillor Election should include a small, diverse group of people who: Continue reading

Know Your Audience in Municipal Elections

Know who you are talking to before you speak.


Many municipal candidates think that to win they must craft and deliver a message for all the voters in their ward. This approach is only going to waste your time and money.  A candidate needs to discover their base and target voters before hitting the campaign trail.

Identifying base support or target voting is a bit easier in Provincial and Federal politics as you can group people by demographics, special interests, income levels, etc.. In a municipal election where party politics play little to no role at the Councillor level, you are starting from scratch.

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Ready, Set, GO! Launch Your Municipal Campaign Like A Pro

Avoid a campaign that crashes on take-off. Put in the planning time up front to ensure success.

As a municipal candidate you are not going to receive automatic media attention when you file your nomination papers. Contrary to popular belief, there is not a media scrum outside of Vaughan City Hall on a Tuesday afternoon.

If you want buzz you need to create it – and trust me, you want buzz. No candidate likes working their ass off for three months only to run into their neighbour down the street and hear, “Oh, I didn’t know you were running for council.”

People Marching with Bullhorns

Here are 5 easy steps to complete BEFORE a successful campaign launch for City Councillor hopefuls:

1. Plan for an uphill battle 

Countless studies show that people are not engaged in the election until the last days before the vote. You don’t have the luxury of waiting until then, so you have to drive your own engagement.

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Ontario Municipal Campaign – Should I Run?


To Run… Or Not To Run… 


You’ve thought about it for a while but you’re still on the fence – “Should I run for Municipal Politics?”

Let’s take a look at what you should keep in mind when considering launching a campaign.


Every friend, family member, co-worker and  voter are going ask you the same question: “Why do you want to be a Councillor?”.  You need to first answer this question for yourself.  There are two categories this answer can fall into, you either want to be somebody, or do something. If your answer falls into the latter you’re well on your way. If you are entering into politics to be somebody, you’re in it for the wrong reasons and my style of campaigning can’t help you.   Know your “why” before you start and we’ll work on some effective ways to communicate that another day.


You need to make the decision to run with your spouse and considering your entire family. Continue reading


Thanks for visiting the City Campaigner Blog!

I’ll be using this space to update readers on the City Campaigner membership team and to provide a few tips on what municipal campaign candidates must do to win.

City Campaigner is a Municipal Election Campaign Community that benefits members with online election training, templates, expert interviews, election services/products, and group buying discounts. Details on how to become a member of this community will be coming in the next couple of weeks.  If you are a candidate in the 2014 Municipal Election and would like to be a member of  the City Campaigner Team, email me Since I want everyone on the team to be successful I will only be accepting one candidate per Ward in each municipality.

Keep Knocking!


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