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Texas Government (GOVT 2306)
Texas A&M University –San Antonio
Campaign for Governor
Due Date: no later than Friday, July 31th @ 11:59 pm.
At least 4 pages (double-spaced). Times New Roman, 12-point font, 1 inch margins.
Imagine you are running for Governor of Texas. Use elements from the course to help you develop a plan to run a successful campaign by winning the attention of the electorate and their votes. In addition to the elements listed below, you will need to describe the qualifications (personal and professional) that make you the ideal candidate for the state of Texas.
Treat this like a job interview: I am sure that most of you feel like you are underqualified to be governor of Texas; you will feel that same way when you apply for many of the jobs and promotions you go after in the course of your careers. The trick to job interviews is to take the experiences and skillsets that you have (and don’t have) and make them in to things that the employer is looking for. Take this hypothetical for example: The majority of you don’t have the political experience or education needed to consider yourself a good governor — how might you turn this in to a good thing for the people of Texas? Maybe it’s a good thing you don’t have any experience as a politician because the last thing Texas needs is another politician. You are here because you saw issues you wanted to address and you felt it your duty as citizen to take a turn behind the wheel. Here, a lack of experience is a good thing. The point is, learning how to take the skills and experiences you have and sell them in the best possible light is a skill that needs to be practiced. Think of this assignment as that practice.
I. CAndidate brief
In your candidate brief, you will need to include your name, experience, history and characteristics; it is your biographical statement. I want you to use your real experiences, not hypothetical or imagined scenarios. This is your “stump speech” where you tell potential voters who you are, what you’re about, and why you’d make a good governor.
Your candidate brief should consist of three paragraphs:
1. Provide some background on yourself. Introduce yourself to your audience and let us know who you are. Do you come from a small town? A large family? Out of state? And so on.
2. Tell us your interest in politics. Why are you here running for governor? What political issues got you involved in Texas politics. What is your platform (top two or three issues)?
3. Tell us why you would be good at the job. What about your experiences and skills would make you a good governor. Why should we vote for you?
II. Issues that you need to address
Political Ideology/Issues — Identify your political ideology and outline your stance on key issues and policies that affect Texas. You need to choose at least one topic from each policy area (a-g); I have given a few examples of different issues for each policy area, but you can certainly use others. In total, you will address seven total policy areas.
a) Civil Rights: Affirmative Action, Gay Rights including Same-sex Marriage, Women’s Rights
b) Economic Issues: Tax Cuts/Reform, Budget Deficits, Job Creation and Unemployment, “Fixing” the Economy
c) Education: No Child Left Behind, Common Core, Pre-K education, State vs. Local Funding, Student Loans, School Choice
d) Environment: Energy Policy, Agriculture, Alternative Fuels, Air and Water Pollution
e) Health and Human Services: Social Services (Aging and Disability, Family and Protective Services, State Health Services), Vaccinations, Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), Healthcare reform
f) Homeland Security: Public Safety, Immigration, Wiretapping, Terrorism
g) Social Issues: Abortion, Death Penalty, Gun Control, Poverty, Crime, Housing, Public Safety, Women’s Issues, Marijuana
Each policy area that you address should be about a paragraph and follow this structure:
1. First sentence clearly identifies an issue you see as a problem
2. Second sentence justifies why this is an issue for everyone and not job something that bothers you personally
3. Third sentence offers your solution to the problem
4. Fourth sentence explains why your solution will fix the problem you identified
III. The campaign strategy
Take on the role as the campaign manager or media consultant. Being specific is key here. You will need to discuss the following elements of campaigning:
I. The Media: How will you use the media to win the attention of the electorate in a way that will translate to votes? Consider the following:
a. What demographic are you appealing to? Who is your target audience and why? (Ex: “My platform is to remove the Social Security program, so I will need to target a younger audience.”). And so on.
b. What is the best way for you to get your message to your target audience? What platforms will you use and why? (Ex: To reach an older population, you might advertise your goal of increasing social security spending on am talk radio shows. To target a younger audience, you might focus more advertising on YouTube and Twitter).
II. Finances: How are you going to fund your campaign?
a. Which, if any, interest groups or businesses will you align yourself with for support? (Will your position on firearms legislation get you support from the Gun Owners of America? And so on).
b. Donations: who will you look to for support and which companies are likely to support you? (will you be looking for donations mostly from the public and not taking corporate money? Will you be looking for money from the oil industry because of your policies that might help them in the future? And so on.).
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