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Maggie Martinez Talks The Secrets of Campaigning! So You Think You Want To Run??

Get Political! Get Serious!  Get Maggy Martinez! 

By: Dominique Huff

As the state and federal elections continue to move forward, many local city residents are starting to question how well their mayor and city council have done. A few of them will get support for another term, while others will get support for an opponent to run against them. Many individuals desire to run for office in their communities, and while passion is needed and essential, it cannot carry a campaign alone.   Martinez recently sought a state representative seat in Henry County, narrowly losing to Robert Flournoy, Jr., by 132 votes in the Democratic primary. No Republican is pursuing the seat, and no Independent or Write-In candidate has declared by press time. 

She is also the author of The Secrets to Campaigning and the host of the Hot Seat Interview with Maggie Martinez. As a political strategist, Martinez states that all campaigns require messaging, commitment, and funding.  “You cannot run a campaign without money,” she said. “When you have your launch event, you should have 150 people in attendance with checks in hand.  Also, a campaign needs a down payment to get started that should be in place before you announce and go public.”A down payment is the funds that the candidate raises themselves, usually through personal, family, or friend investment, to support the campaign. This includes a professional photoshoot, website, marketing materials, social media focused on the campaign, and an overall good public presentation.

“You have to think like a business, and a business puts its best face forward to get people to do business.  You have to put your best forward to convince voters to vote for you,” she said. “If you look crappy, it will scream you’re a crappy candidate and will be a crappy elected official.” And get ready to work seven days a week, 16-hour days, miss family dinners, social outings, and be at all places where you can be seen by voters. “Hang out in your district. Attend events where you can make your presence known,” she said. Every Sunday, you should attend a church in the district and get out on the streets.” But while municipal elections in Metro Atlanta are next year, it’s not too early to get started and in some cases, one could be late to the party. “I prefer two to three years to get started. Don’t wait until qualification time or too close to the election. This is time to establish credibility and build support within the community, as you are going to need it,” she said. Your job as the candidate is to offer the people a choice, and it does not matter if you are running against an incumbent—incumbents can be beaten!”

Know the issues, but be specific; don’t talk in keyword style. Martinez says that candidates should always focus on improving the quality of life for the district's residents.  “I hate when people use keyword issues like healthcare, education, transportation, and I say, what are you going to do in specifics to such topics,” she explained. “Talk about a problem and offer a solution that you will work on if elected.  If you are about education, discuss how you will enhance the curriculum or improve graduation rates.” Most importantly, remember flip flops are for your feet, not your topics. “Do your homework and research the topics and issues; you cannot be caught changing your opinion because you think it will help you win an election.  Voters do not respect that,” she warned. “How does your community feel?  Why do they feel like this?”

Lastly, it's a team effort; you cannot do it alone. “You need to talk to your family before you start because you will be focused heavily on this, so that means missed dinners, social outings, and not going to a baseball game,” she said. It’s not personal, and it’s tough, but this is a commitment you must make to focus on campaigning.”  With her word on voters, she warned that voters should treat elections like beauty pageants or popularity contests. These are people who will make crucial decisions. “I am all for putting out a good face, but don’t let attractiveness or popularity guide your decision,” she concluded. “Be an issue-based voter.” For more information on Maggy Martinez, visit her firm at

Maggie Martinez Appears on Voices of The Village Podcast (VOTV)

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