Recipe for an upset

Words of wisdom from Julie Stauch, an adviser to Renee Hardman’s successful campaign against a West Des Moines City Council incumbent. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Recipe for an Upset
From the kitchen of Julie Stauch

Serves villages, towns, counties, districts and cities of all sizes.

1 Strong, smart female challenger who genuinely cares about people
1 Complacent Incumbent, marinated in self-righteousness, who repeats that he was born and raised in the district
10 – 30 Volunteers, depending upon the serving size (see above)
1 Campaign plan to fit the district, candidate and election year
1 Brochure for canvasser
1 Voter file, stuffed with voting records, current addresses and phone numbers

Dough enough to leaven all the communications
Optional seasoning – use as many as possible
Targeted direct mail, at least four pieces
Social media and web based ads
Yard signs (required for school board, municipal and county races, all others optional)


Challenger should have been fed on a diet of community service, business management and have lots of experience persevering. Marinate in campaign plan and season with advisers who know the district and understand how to put together a win.

Put in pressure cooker to raise money and make voter contacts while doing daily work.

Serve to constituents on a bed of mixed communications, top with homemade debate sauce, and end with a dose of humble pie.

Because the best elected official is a good community servant.

About the Author(s)

Julie Stauch