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, helike many other Americanshad 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 systemto 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 candidateshow and why campaigns are run, the pressures they face, the compromises they make, and the failures of the systemand presents a compelling roadmap for getting our country back on track.
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About the Author
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
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