Getting elected to any position is not an easy task. It’s even harder in Georgia for someone to get elected due to ballot restrictions. That makes open races more inviting for Libertarian candidates.
Getting your message out can also be a major challenge. Raising enough money to send out mailers, post signs around town, and buying advertising can cost a fortune. Add a campaign manager, and the total amount of money spent can rise to $50,000 and beyond rather quickly! The cost of local elections have been rising faster and faster. Ironically, much of the money that candidates get seem to be coming from outside the communities where the election is being held.
But there is a better way to do this. Meet Chris Coughlin:
Chris Coughlin, a resident of Johns Creek, is proving it beyond a shadow of a doubt that. Chris set out to apply his understanding of best practices in examining data, which he does daily in his job, and apply it to the voters in Johns Creek, and the results are positive.
Johns Creek is known for low voter turnouts. One of the best cities to live in Georgia by many measures, means that most people that are able to vote do not bother. It has been said that even when things are bad in Johns Creek, that things are pretty good. Unfortunately, that results in low voter participation.
Another negative is that there is little media coverage of events in Johns Creek. Voters were limited in getting information about real issues, Conversations are limited. While Johns Creek has the Johns Creek Herald, which is tossed weekly into driveways, the coverage provided is more North Fulton, and does not dive deeply into many issues. Also, there is little opportunity for the residents to engage in dialogue.
The Johns Creek Post has recently appeared on the scene, providing more coverage of the local issues, as it focuses only on Johns Creek. There is also more dialogue and debate among residents on what is happening.
Last week, Johns Creek held it’s City Council elections on Tuesday, November 3, 2015. With his first run for a political office, Coughlin just might change the way campaigns are executed in the future.
Chris Coughlin, who is a member of the Libertarian Party of Georgia, promised to run a different kind of race. A race where the issue was not how much money you would need to raise and then spend. Instead it would be a race which would show how you actually can do more with less and get a bigger bang for the buck. That is also what he hopes to do for the citizens of Johns Creek when he is elected to the City Council.
Chris Coughlin signed affidavits vowing not to spend more than $2,500 per race. Because he is running in two races, that would give him $10,000 to spend. Chris has not taken campaign contributions from anyone inside or outside the City. He is indebted to no one.
Can you run an effective campaign while not playing by the same rules everyone think is necessary to compete?
Chris Coughlin has proven he can do just that, and made it not just to one runoff race, but two, and did so spending $3,300 while his opponent has spent more than $77,000.
What sort of bang for his bucks did Chris Coughlin get?
Here are the results for the two races:
Post 2: Stub Term
- Todd Burkhalter 36%
- Chris Coughlin 34%
- Patty Hansen 18%
- Arun Misra 11%
Post 2 General Election
- Jay Lin 43% 1897 Votes
- Chris Coughlin 28% 1224 Votes
- Todd Burkhalter 27% 1199 Votes
Coughlin’s opponent outspent him by more than $73,500 and only garnered 15% more votes.
His opponent spent 38.48 per vote received, while Chris Coughlin spent $2.69 per vote received (actually it is lower if you include the total votes for both races-$1.26 per vote)
How is that possible? How did Chris Coughlin get such a great return on his money and his efforts?
Working smart, listening to voters, and having a principle based message that voters can relate to, Coughlin has gotten his message to a very receptive audience in Johns Creek.
Coughlin has applied intelligence to his campaign, identifying the “power voters” in Johns Creek. Then Coughlin spent his weekends going to and visiting these voters. Coughlin asked what their concerns were locally in Johns Creek, and then shared with them how would address those concerns if elected.
Coughlin has also participated in the multiple opportunities to respond to candidate questionnaires. He has monitored the online comments and responded with more detailed answers to specific questions.
Coughlin also participated in all of the candidate forums held in Johns Creek, and is looking forward to the Runoff Candidate forum, being hosted by the Johns Creek Community Association on November 17th. If you want to attend this event, you can RSVP here: http://jccitycouncildebate.rsvpify.com/
Challenging the accepted premises that it is all about the money, and then knocking that premise flat on it’s back is a good thing. Local elections should not be about the money raised. It should be about principled leadership. And Coughlin is leading the way, showing that there is a better more efficient way to do the business of politics.
Let’s hope he is successful, and is able to provide that same efficiency to the local government of Johns Creek, Georgia.
Be sure to visit his site and learn more about his platform.