Let's say you want to run for office.
Really, why do you want to run for elective office?
Is there a wrong you see that needs to be righted? Is there an incumbent that wants to retire and you would be the right fit? Did someone say they think you would be good a fit and that the party (or person) will help you get elected.
The only good reason to run is the first choice - there is a wrong that needs to be righted. The other two choices to run is because of some other persons desire, not your own. The only way that you can be an effective, trans formative, leader means that you need to take control of your political identity from the beginning.
The best way to shape your own political identity starts with finding a local, non-partisan, race you can run in. Races like school boards, municipal leaders, and judicial races tend to be non-partisan. These type of non-partisan campaigns can focus on the current issues, and not be controlled by local parties who want to impress their national supporters. The lack of party control helps you craft a public conversation built from your own ideas.
If we assume that you win your non-partisan race, there now exists a solid public record of your beliefs. You have created a political brand without influence from the outside. In addition to the ownership of your political brand, you have also created invested voters. People now exist that are comfortable voting for you, regardless of party (mostly, there will always be partisans who will reject you because of party). Be a good steward of their votes, and the public will become more supportive of any future candidacy.
Do you want to create a voter base? The best place to start is your local non-partisan elections. Once you you have people comfortable putting the check mark by your name, then you can work on the difficulty of unseating an established partisan office holder.
RD Kulik is the creator and Head Editor for Seed Sing. We want to help you get elected, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on starting a political brand.