It’s Always Election Season

By Steve Arthur, Vice President

While the national political media focused on the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey along with a congressional race in New York, in 2009 there also were almost 400 mayoral elections held in cities with populations over thirty thousand according to the US Conference of Mayors. And some of those cities aren’t done yet. Atlanta will hold a run-off election on December 1st, while Houston will have a run-off on Saturday, December 12th.

Less than eight weeks later, the 2010 election season begins with the Illinois primary on February 2nd. Texas holds its primary on March 2nd, with run-offs as needed April 13th. May will see ten states holding primaries throughout the month, and fourteen states have scheduled primaries in June. July is a light month with only two state primaries, while August finishes the summer with twelve states holding elections. The District of Columbia and ten additional states will keep us in suspense until September.

What does this mean for state government relations professionals? Next year is likely to be one of almost non-stop calls from campaigns looking for those last-minute donations to get their candidates over the hump. That is why it is so important to map out your contribution strategy in advance, so you know when you can say yes and when you can say no. You don’t necessarily need to decide exactly which candidates you need to support, but you should be making decisions about which states are important to your company or trade association, so you can plan your giving accordingly.

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