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July 7th, 2010

How to Help Your Local Republican Win

By James Johnson

Last night, our family went door-knocking again in our local legislative district on behalf of former state senator Stewart Iverson.

After being asked — check that, begged — to come out of retirement, Iverson decided to run against our district’s Democratic incumbent for the state House of Representatives.

Both major political parties are calling the District 9 race a “must win” for Republicans if they are to win back control of the House.

Altogether, Republicans must pick off seven seats that are currently held by Democrats to be successful. This is no small task, even with the national political winds blowing the Republicans’ way. National politics does not always translate into local or state sentiment.

We will have a tough time winning back the state senate, with only 25 seats of the 50 up for grabs. But the good news is that 19 of them are currently held by Democrats, and several of them are on shaky ground.

Last night, as expected for July, it was hot and muggy. By the end of the night, my shirt was soaked and my hair was matted. But we felt great, as we always do.

Door-knocking has been a regular thing for the Johnson Family for years now. Our six children became expert door-knockers before they could read. And it has made them civic-minded and better aware of political issues.

I encourage all Republicans to make door-knocking a family event this summer. Yes, you will get hot. But it is a lot of fun. You do not need voter lists, and you do not need clipboards. Just pick up the campaign literature from your local Republican candidate, and get started.

In door-knocking, go to every door — that’s right, every door. Not worrying about whether the homeowner is a Republican, Democrat, or Independent will save you a lot of time. Just consider every home a potential voting home, and start at the end of the block.

Since 2000, the Johnson Family has helped over 40 local, state, and federal campaigns. We have visited over 50,000 doors, and have distributed nearly a quarter-million pieces of literature. We do not get paid for this. We do it because we love our country. And we believe that every time we help a Republican beat a Democrat, our state is in better hands.

You do not need a script. Just smile and say, “Hi, I’m [first name], and I’m encouraging folks to vote for [candidate’s name] this year.” Hand them the literature, and leave. If nobody is home, then place it in the door or between the vinyl siding next to the door.

Legislative campaigns will have the money for direct mailings, radio spots, and television ads in October, but until then, it is all about name ID and creating positive feelings about him in the community.

Your local Republican legislative candidates need help this summer. You can make a difference for them, and for our state. Go door-knocking!

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About the Author

James M. Johnson
James M. Johnson is the president of the Iowa Republican Assembly, which works to get constitutionally minded conservatives elected to leadership positions in the Republican Party, and to elective office on the local, state, and federal level. He has worked on over 50 political campaigns and holds an M.A. in public policy with a concentration in political communication.




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