Losing Our Elections: What I Learned Running for Congress, and How We Can Fix Our Broken Politics

Losing Our Elections: What I Learned Running for Congress, and How We Can Fix Our Broken Politics

by Jim Spurlino
Losing Our Elections: What I Learned Running for Congress, and How We Can Fix Our Broken Politics

Losing Our Elections: What I Learned Running for Congress, and How We Can Fix Our Broken Politics

by Jim Spurlino


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What is it really like to run for Congress?

In 2015, Jim Spurlino decided to run for the congressional seat recently vacated by longtime Ohio congressman John Boehner. Though he had no political experience, he—like many other Americans—had been a passionate observer of national politics. This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a difference.

Running as an outsider with a background as a successful owner of a construction mate­rials company, his campaign was a test of the system—to see if a moderate candidate from outside the political establishment could bring fresh thinking to the public conversation.

In the course of a four-month campaign in the Republican primary, he encountered the good, the bad, and the ugly: heartfelt sup­porters; hardball consultants; endless, mind-numbing fundraising calls; smear campaigns; and even blank manila envelopes with damag­ing information. In the end, he walked away with 7 percent of the vote and an education in modern American politics.

Losing Our Elections captures what life is re­ally like for political candidates—how and why campaigns are run, the pressures they face, the compromises they make, and the failures of the system—and presents a compelling roadmap for getting our country back on track.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781637552360
Publisher: RealClearPublishing
Publication date: 10/25/2022
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Jim Spurlino was a candidate for Congress in Ohio's Eighth Congressional District in 2016. He is the founder of Spurlino Materials, a nationally recognized supplier of construction materials.

For more than a decade, he has been ac­tive on a range of issues, including small business, construction, transportation, and early childhood issues pertaining to at-risk families.

He has been a longtime advocate for good government, speaking at the local, state, and national levels. His board ser­vice has been wide-ranging and includes the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Ohio Concrete, Every Child Succeeds, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), and Council for a Strong America.

He is a graduate of the University of Dayton with a bachelor's degree in busi­ness administration and an MBA. He lives in Ohio with his wife, Tricia, and they are parents of eight children.

Table of Contents

Preface 1


My Life Changes 5

Chapter 1 Going to School, Getting to Work, and Catching the Political Bug 9

Chapter 2 Deciding to Run 15

Chapter 3 Hiring My Campaign Team 23

Chapter 4 Positions, Politics, and People 29

Chapter 5 Getting Started 45

Chapter 6 Investigating Myself 53

Chapter 7 Announcing and Filming 57

Chapter 8 The Budget 67

Chapter 9 The Frontrunner Steps Aside 77

Chapter 10 Searching for Staff and Cash 81

Chapter 11 The Campaigning Begins 87

Chapter 12 Meetings with Interest Groups 97

Chapter 13 The Futility of Candidate Forums 103

Chapter 14 The Money Hunt Continues 113

Chapter 15 The Grind: Door Knocks, My Call Center, and a Bake Sale 123

Chapter 16 Endorsements (or Lack Thereof) 131

Chapter 17 Never a Dull Moment 135

Chapter 18 The Seamy Side of Politics 143

Chapter 19 More Media Activity 155

Chapter 20 Social Media 169

Chapter 21 The Campaign Heats Up 175

Chapter 22 The Homestretch 183

Chapter 23 Robo Nonsense 191

Chapter 24 The Final Days 195

Chapter 25 Lessons Learned 203

Chapter 26 Baylor 209

Chapter 27 The Numbers 211

Chapter 28 Post-Campaign Public Service 217

Afterword On the Issues: The Good, the Bad, and the Need for Change 231

Appendix 269

Endnotes 277

Acknowledgments 281

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