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  • Joey Lai

Not pursuing group/organization endorsements

Before deciding to run I did a lot of research and had many conversations with people in the community about the campaign/election process. When I first began my journey I thought a great strategy would be to try to get as many endorsements from groups to help with getting my name out there. Make sense right? Large group with a membership endorses you, advertises your name on their website, praises you on social media, prints a bunch of mailers for you, and pays for some of your campaign expenses.

As I had deeper conversations about the endorsement process I started to become hesitant. Running for school board I have always said that my primary focus is what is the best experience for the student. Student experience is what guides my thought process and decisions. With the student experience being the focal point, did the groups who were offering an opportunity to interview for their endorsement have the same alignment of student experience first and foremost? For my experience this was not the case. I also chose not to pursue my political party endorsement because this is a non-partisan position, and decisions by a board member should not be political.

Some may see this a strategic error (and it could lose me the election), but for me, it allows me to make clear decisions that focus on our students, and not worry about strings being attached further down the 4 year term.

I also see a major flaw in the endorsement process for a candidate who seeks out an endorsement from a group they have not had a history or relationship with. How does a group/organization thoroughly vet a candidate through a questionnaire and one or two interviews? How does the organization truly know this is the right person for the position through surface level meetings and questions?

No sour grapes from me, but I wanted to answer many questions I have received why I did not pursue group endorsements for my campaign. Transparent to a fault sometimes, but that is how I am.

Have a question? Let me know.


Thanks and have a great week!



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