Austin’s Campaign Update

I’ve been a little swamped lately with campaign stuff and other unrelated activities, but I’m going to try and be more active in keeping this site updated as we approach November.

I figured I’d start off today with a little update on my own campaign. This doesn’t have anything to do with third party politics as I’m not a registered member of one, but every once in a while I post personal stuff. And I would absolutely love to get a look inside the living room campaign HQ (or actual rented offices) of any third party campaigns out there willing to share. Running for office is not easy work, but sharing information about the experience with others can be really educational.

For anyone not aware, I’m running for a nonpartisan seat on the Duval County Soil and Water Conservation Board here in Florida. My county has about 550,000 registered voters so there is a lot of ground to cover! As of the last reporting period (last Friday) I’ve raised about $1,800… not a bad start, but I’ll need more if I want to win.

My campaign website is up and running for anyone interested. Pretty basic but hopefully it gets the job done.

I’ve ordered and placed about 50 or so bumperstickers on cars from around the county, mostly friends and friends of friends. Here’s a shot of my girlfriend’s car… she took 2 of them…

My car has these nifty magnetic door signs…

I just got the first box of regular yard signs in, and I’m expecting a few more boxes tomorrow or the next day…

Putting up more tonight…

The first of our signs were actually these large (2×3 feet) and extra large (3×4 feet) ones that have to be mounted on two-by-fours. Half of which have gone up and the other half of which still control my dining room. The regular yard sign is in there to show scale…

Got this vinyl banner for events and also I can strap it to the side of my car and park it near key intersections as we get closer to the election.

We’re also working on a radio ad at the moment, but I can’t share too much about that just yet. And a few small direct mail experiments, but again… can’t go into great detail. :)

I’m excited and optimistic… but I’m also realistic. It’s going to be a tough contest because my opponent has raised about $2,800 (to my $1,800) and has the backing of the local AFL-CIO.

Time will tell. I’ll probably post at least one more update before the election rolls around.

EDIT: A few people in the comments asked for PayPal access in order to donate to the campaign. I’m not soliciting, because I don’t want anyone to feel at all obligated to help out… but for those who volunteered, here’s the info…

Thanks again, your support means a lot to me. I’ll be sending personal thank you cards to donors at the end of the campaign as well, so please be sure to include your address if you do donate.


29 Responses to “Austin’s Campaign Update”

  1. Matt Sterba Says:

    The sign and banner design looks very good.

  2. Phil Says:

    Good luck Austin, you look to be putting up a lot of organized and professional effort for such a local office!

  3. unknown blogger Says:

    Good luck Austin. I went to high school in Jax years ago and from what I recall the politcal establishment in the city is pretty much “The Old Boy Network”. Much more so than eslewhere.
    BTW it was Paxon Sr. and I understand they tore the place down. DAMN GOOD.

  4. undercover_anarchist Says:

    Wow. You have more to show for your campaign than… Nah, I won’t go there.

    Good job and good luck!

  5. undercover_anarchist Says:

    Austin. If you set up the ability to accept PayPal, I will donate $50 to your campaign.

  6. Mike N. Says:

    According to Hacker, yard signs are useless. I would return them for a refund if I were you. Hacker has won many elections.

  7. Stuart Richards Says:

    Looking sharp, Austin! Hope you win!

  8. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Wow, UA… that’s an extremely generous offer. I’ll work on setting up an account tonight. Thank you.

  9. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Thanks for the kind wishes everybody. :)

  10. khatores Says:

    I’ll throw in another $50 as well if you set up paypal.

  11. Bill Wood Says:

    Great Job on your signs, Austin. I think you are off to an excellant start. Keep smiling, have fun and you will do very, very well.


  12. Phil Says:

    I’d be glad to shell out some $$$ too… I think we all owe you at least a small contribution.

  13. Joey Dauben Says:

    Here’s the fallacy of going with studies and research and not what the regular everyday person is saying: especially in city council and school board races, if a candidate doesn’t have signs, then the most common reaction of people is, “well I haven’t seen any of his signs out.”

    People don’t know you’re running - let alone that there’s an election - without signs.

    They might be expensive, but here’s the irony in all this: signs were ordered for Badnarik’s presidential campaign, and that’s the entire country compared to a sliver like CD-10. Doesn’t make sense.

  14. Cowboy Will Says:

    I know I don’t make regular comments here but - I do read. And I love the idea that you’re running! You can count on a donation from me! Where do I give?

  15. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Wow… thanks everyone, I’m touched you guys are interested enough to offer… that’s awesome.

    PayPal info has been added to the campaign website and at the end of the post. Your help really means a lot to me.

  16. undercover_anarchist Says:

    My donation has been made.

    Good luck!

  17. Austin Cassidy Says:

    UA, I received it this morning… thank you again. And Darcy as well. You guys are great.

    For Cowboy Will, Phil, and the others who’ve asked… there’s a link at the bottom of this post called “The PayPal Donation Link” that you can use. Or just go to the campaign site and you can do it there. I originally had tried to have a PayPal “Donate Now” button in this post, but it kept breaking so I had to replace it with that text link.

    Again, thanks to everyone who’ve offered and donated… this is going to help A LOT.

  18. Will Says:

    I might be able to give $10 or $20.

  19. undercover_anarchist Says:

    No donation is too small, especially in a campaign of this nature.

  20. undercover_anarchist Says:

    Austin - You ought to send out thank you notes beforehand, as in ASAP. Explain in the notes how your campaign has spent the money it has taken in so far, and what you could do with just a little bit more. Include a donation envelope, of course! This is a good tactic for getting repeat donors!

  21. Joey Dauben Says:

    What’s your door-to-door strategy looking like? This entrenched incumbent might have a network already. What are your efforts on that front, Austin?

  22. Gary Odom Says:

    I respect Mr. Hacker, but in reference to that comment about yard signs way back up there, I bet Hacker was referring to higher profile elections. My feeling is that most people running for the soil and water board are not household names and any visible name identification is helpful.

    Congratulations, Austin! You’ve put quite a coalition of supporters together here. I wonder if it upsets undercover_anarchist that some of us Constitution Party types wish you well, too!

    Good luck in your campaign!

  23. undercover_anarchist Says:

    Doesn’t bother me. I thought you guys would have jumped ship when you saw that his girlfriend (is that even allowed in CP orthodoxy?) drives a Toyota.

  24. undercover_anarchist Says:

    My bad, a Kia. Is that better or worse?

  25. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Hehe, well quality-wise Kia’s are worse than Toyota’s… It probably has 20,000 miles on it and it makes noise like my VW which has 110,000.

    UA, not a bad idea about the thank you cards. I feel bad trying to “pump” people for money, but it’s possible to do it in a nice way I guess. :)

    Thanks for the well wishes Gary!

    Joey, our door-to-door strategy is extremely limited. We’ll be hitting some doors of voters who live in locations where we’ld like to place a yard sign… at the corner of a major street, etc. And we might do a drop of doorknockers, but that’s in the air right now.

    Since this is an at-large seat it covers all of Duval County, which is about the same size as the nation of Luxembourg… a bit under 1,000 square miles. The population is around 800,000… with 540,000 registered voters. I’m expecting turn out of at least 200,000 for this election. Door-to-door just isn’t possible in a meaningful way and the limited volunteer strength I have is going to be mostly put into sign-waving and working actual polling places.

    My opponent has a network of support, but it’s not overwhelming. He was elected to the board in 2000 and defeated for re-election in 2004. So this is his comeback attempt, and he’s working pretty hard. He probably has some limited name recognition because of his previous campaigns as well. On the plus side I have the official support of 2 local Soil and Water Supervisors as well as the backing of a few notable local companies as donors to my campaign.

  26. opposition Says:

    It has been fun running against you Austin. It is a shame that you and I can not meet for a debate on the issues or even meet. The campaign I am running is very localized, meet and greet. I can remember in 2004, when I lost, I put out almost 1000 signs and was defeated by 19,000 votes. In 2000 when I ran I put out 100 signs and won by 26,000 votes(go fiqure). Soil an Water is like no other political office the voters are tired when they get to our race and sometimes don’t vote. Almost 40% of the voters in 2004 didn’t vote for Soil and Water candidate. This year with the endorsement of AFL-CIO, Fraternal Order of Police, and The Jacksonville FireFighters, and several City Council memebers this years election will be interesting. Whatever the outcome Good Luck!!

  27. Austin Cassidy Says:

    I didn’t see you at the last few board meetings, was hoping we could have met then. You’re quite right about signs only being a very small part of winning elections, it’s going to be about meeting people one-on-one and earning their trust. Good luck, Albert.

  28. Third Party Watch » Blog Archive » Taking Office… Says:

    [...] For anyone who was unaware, I was a candidate for this local nonpartisan office and I won with 54%—90,918 raw votes—in the November election. [...]

  29. Taking Office… | Crack The Vote Says:

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