The X’s and O’s of Endorsements

Winning campaigns need to establish credibility and one of the quickest ways achieve this is by securing endorsements.  How?  Because endorsements allow the candidate to tell donors, voters and the media that you are a viable candidate.


Who should you ask for an endorsement?

Elected officials

As a candidate, you will want to look at who the most impactful elected officials in the district you are running for.

For example if you are running for city council, you will want to get the endorsements of the current council members.

Also, who in the city is influential? This can be a business or community leader.  It could be a popular past council member, but need not be an elected official.


There are many organizations that will lend their endorsement to a candidate. This can range from public employee unions, chambers of commerce, labor groups, builders and community groups just to name a few.

Organizations typically represent a larger group of individuals like teachers, police officers, or business owners. Having their backing will be a big boost to your campaign as many of the individuals who make up the organization typically vote how their union or organization recommends.

When seeking an organization’s endorsement, expect to set up an interview and fill out their survey. This will allow the organization to get to know you and how you may vote as an elected official.

If you are currently an elected official and you are asked to fill out a survey, speak with the organization about relying on your past votes instead of a new survey. Many times your opponent can obtain these surveys and can use your answers against you.

Community Leaders

Local community leaders can range from the head of a Chamber of Commerce to the local Little League president. The more endorsements a candidate has earned, shows the broad support your campaign has.

These local types of endorsements should never be ignored.  They can be more important than elected officials as they will not carry the stigma of “politician” that can be associated with others who hold office.

Then what?

As you begin collecting endorsements you want to make sure voters, donors and the media are aware that your campaign is picking up momentum.

If you land a top endorsement, you should immediately put out a press release.

The press release should include who has endorsed you, why it is important to the campaign, a quote from that person or group, and a reminder of other notable endorsements your campaign has received.

After send your press release to the media, you should blast email it and post it to your social media accounts.


Candidate Take-Aways

Again endorsements are a great way for any campaign to establish itself as competitive and serious

A winning campaign should always include endorsements and organize them in a way that will help their campaign get volunteers, donations and notoriety.

Now, go get your endorsement cards printed up and start building a powerful endorsement list for your campaign.